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Charlotte Expungement Lawyers

An expungement is a way to ask the court to remove a prior criminal conviction from your record. Even one criminal charge on your record can negatively affect your personal life, your employment opportunities, your educational opportunities, and your housing options. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our legal team can review your case file and determine whether or not you may be eligible to seek an expungement of your criminal record. Contact our law firm as soon as possible to schedule a case evaluation to determine whether or not you qualify.

North Carolina’s Updated Expungement Law

North Carolina recently changed its expungement laws to allow more people to qualify for an expungement. Now, a broader base of people can apply to have their criminal record expunged. While the recent law change has undoubtedly allowed more individuals access to criminal record expunction, the circumstances under which an expunction may be granted remains limited. The requirements must all be met in order to qualify for an expunction. Before attempting to venture down the path of seek an expunction on your own, it is highly recommended that you speak with an attorney to see if you are eligible.

Convictions Not Eligible for Expunction

One of the most commonly asked questions regarding expunctions is whether or not driving while impaired (DWI) convictions are able to be expunged from a person’s criminal record. Unfortunately, the answer is no. North Carolina lawmakers view intoxicated driving offenses harshly.

Misdemeanor and felony convictions not able to be expunged from an individual’s criminal record include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Class A1 misdemeanors or a Class A through G felony;
  • Any offense involving assault as the essential element of the crime;
  • Some sex-related offenses or stalking;
  • An offense requiring registration as a sex offender;
  • Offenses involving the contamination of food or drink to render a victim mentally incapacitated or physically helpless;
  • Felony breaking and entering; and
  • Felony offense in which a commercial motor vehicle was used in commission of offense.
Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Will Be Able to Access Expunged Records

As of July 1, 2018, North Carolina law enforcement and prosecutors will have access to a defendant’s expunged records. Evidence of prior criminal records can be used to determine sentencing. In 2020, legislation was enacted that further expanded prosecutors’ use of expunged convictions. For example, when a defendant has a past criminal history, even if the court expunged a previous criminal record, he or she may receive a harsher sentence for future convictions.

Even though the North Carolina legal system may recognize that the court has expunged your record, it will not be totally destroyed. However, going through the expungement process is still helpful and beneficial. For example, when a criminal record has been expunged, potential employers, schools, and landlords will not be able to see any offenses on the criminal record.

Removing an Arrest or Charge From Your Criminal Record

In the event that you were arrested and/or charged with a crime, but never faced a subsequent conviction, you are likely able to have it removed from your criminal record, via an expunction. If the charges were dismissed or the court came back with a finding of not guilty, there is no waiting period to have the arrest or charge removed. It is important to contact an attorney immediately in cases involving the mere charge or arrest for a crime in order to limit the impact it could have on your life.

The Process of Expungement

If you are eligible for expungement, hiring an experienced expungement lawyer can help you tremendously. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, help many clients attain expungement of their criminal records. We understand the expungement process can be overwhelming, which is why we walk our clients through the entire process, answering any questions and addressing all concerns that may arise.

We will help you obtain any needed documents and complete all necessary forms to submit an expunction request to the clerk of court. Once received, the clerk will send the request to the Administrative Office of the Courts, as well as the State Bureau of Investigation, who will then review the request. Once reviewed, a hearing, if required, will be scheduled where one of our experienced expungement attorneys will represent you and present to the court an argument demonstrating that you meet each and every eligibility requirement to receive an expunction.

We Can Help

At Arnold & Smith PLLC, our legal team can advise you as to whether or not you are eligible to seek an expungement of your criminal record. Contact our law firm as soon as possible to schedule a case evaluation with one of our experienced expungement lawyers. Call us at 704.370.2828 or fill out our contact form online. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Charlotte, Lake Norman, and Union County.