In Part I, we discussed the Second Chance Act, and how it will affect charges that are dismissed without leave, dismissed by the court, acquitted, found not guilty, or not responsible on or after December 1, 2021. This blog, Part II, will discuss some of the other changes to expungement laws in North Carolina.
According to N.C.G.S.§ 15A-146(a4), an automatic expunction will not be required by law for a case with a felony charge that was dismissed pursuant to a plea agreement – individuals in this scenario must petition for an expunction, as it was the case under the previous statute.
Pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 15A-145.5 (c), the petition for expunction shall not be filed earlier than one of the following:
(1) For expunction of one nonviolent misdemeanor, five years after the date of the conviction or when any active sentence, period of probation, or post-release supervision has been served, whichever occurs later.
(2) For expunction of more than one nonviolent misdemeanor, seven years after the date of the person’s last conviction, other than a traffic offense not listed in the petition for expunction, or seven years after any active sentence, period of probation, or post-release supervision has been served, whichever occurs later.
(3) For expunction of one nonviolent felony, 10 years after the date of the conviction or 10 years after any active sentence, period of probation, or post-release supervision has been served, whichever occurs later.
If an individual has been previously granted an expunction for a nonviolent felony or nonviolent misdemeanor, then they are not eligible for an expunction under the new law.
Pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 15A-145.5 (a), the term “nonviolent misdemeanor” or “nonviolent felony” means any misdemeanor or felony except the following:
(1) A Class A through G felony or a Class A1 misdemeanor.
(2) An offense that includes assault as an essential element of the offense.
(3) An offense requiring registration pursuant to Article 27A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes, whether or not the person is currently required to register.
(4) Any of the following sex-related or stalking offenses: G.S. 14-27.25(b), 14-27.30(b), 14-190.7, 14-190.8, 14-190.9, 14-202, 14-208.11A, 14-208.18, 14-277.3, 14-277.3A, 14-321.1.
(5) Any felony offense in Chapter 90 of the General Statutes where the offense involves methamphetamines, heroin, or possession with intent to sell or deliver or sell and deliver
(6) An offense under G.S. 14-12.12(b), 14-12.13, or 14-12.14, or any offense for which punishment was determined pursuant to G.S. 14-3(c).
(7) An offense under G.S. 14-401.16.
(7a) An offense under G.S. 14-54(a), 14-54(a1), or 14-56.
(8) Any felony offense in which a commercial motor vehicle was used in the commission of the offense.
(8a) An offense involving impaired driving as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(24a).
(9) Any offense that is an attempt to commit an offense described in subdivisions (1) through (8a) of this subsection.
If you or a loved one has a criminal record in New Hanover (including Wilmington, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach), Pender (including Hampstead and Burgaw), or Brunswick County (including Bolivia, Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset Beach, Shallotte, Leland, and Southport), and are interested in having your record expunged, please give us a call for a confidential consultation. Mr. Collins has been successfully handling expunctions for over 20 years.
By Karen M. Thompson, Paralegal