The Law offices of Arnold & Smith - John Price Carr House
You cannot reason with the unreasonable;
When it is time to fight,
WE FIGHT TO WIN.

Our office continues to operate during our regular business hours, which are 8:30 am - 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday, but you can call the office 24 hours a day. We continue to follow all recommendations and requirements of the State of Emergency Stay at Home Order. Consultations are available via telephone or by video conference. The safety of our clients and employees is of the utmost importance and, therefore, in-person meetings are not available at this time except for emergencies or absolutely essential legal services.

What is North Carolina’s Second Chance Act?

After the North Carolina House and Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 562, Governor Roy Cooper signed the bill into law. Today, many North Carolinians still do not understand the meaning of SB 562, also referred to as the “Second Chance Act.”

In short, the Second Chance Act, or the clean slate bill, provides an opportunity to individuals who committed, or were charged with, non-violent crimes to have their record expunged of the crime. Not everyone, however, is eligible for an expungement and it is important to consult with a criminal defense attorney in North Carolina to determine whether you qualify.

What Does North Carolina’s Second Chance Act Do?

Under North Carolina’s “Second Chance Act”, individuals who have been charged with non-violent crimes, may be eligible to have their record expunged, or cleared, of the crime.

Juvenile Offenders

If you have committed or been charged with a crime before December 1, 2019, and were either 16 or 17 years of age, you may be eligible for expungement. The following requirements must be met to petition the court for expungement:

  • The offense must have been either a misdemeanor or Class H or I felony that was committed before 12/01/2019.
  • The offender must have been 16 or 17 years old at the time the crime was committed.
  • Sentence, probation, and supervision must have been served in their entirety.
  • There must be no outstanding judgments owed for the offense.

Once your record is expunged of this particular charge, you can lawfully say that you were not convicted of this particular offense.

You are not eligible to file for expungement if:

Nonguilty Findings or Dismissed Charges

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony, and these charges were dismissed or resulted in a non-guilty verdict, you may be eligible to petition for expungement. The cost of the petition is $175 and must be filed in the court of the county where the initial charges were brought.

  • Dismissal of a single charge: If you have been charged with either a felony or misdemeanor and the charge was dismissed, either you or the District Attorney can file a petition for expungement in the court of the county where the initial charges were brought.
  • Dismissal of multiple charges: If you have been charged with multiple offenses, and any of them are dismissed, either you or the District Attorney can file to have each of the dismissed charges expunged. It is important to note that if you have been charged with multiple offenses, and not all of the offenses are dismissed, then the court may or may not grant the expunction.
  • Finding of Not Guilty: If you have been charged with a crime(s), and any of those charges result in a finding of not guilty, either you or the District Attorney can file to have each of the not guilty charges expunged.
Automatic Expungement

While the expungement process currently requires offenders, or those charged with crimes, to petition the court, the process will be automated for cases determined on or after December 1, 2021. The requirements for automatic expunction will be:

  • All charges in the case are dismissed or result in a not guilty verdict.
  • Dismissed charges cannot have been dismissed as a result of a Plea Agreement.

If your case does not meet the automatic expungement requirements, you may still petition the court for expungement for any eligible charges that were dismissed or found not guilty.

Nonviolent Felony and Misdemeanor Convictions

If you have been convicted of a non-violent crime(s), the Second Chance Act provides options to have these convictions expunged from your record. Below are the requirements to a file a petition for expungement:

  • Nonviolent Misdemeanor Conviction:
    • You may petition for expungement 5 years after your conviction or sentence is served, whichever occurs later.
    • You cannot have any outstanding judgments related to this conviction.
    • You cannot have any other convictions during the 5-year waiting period.
  • More than One Misdemeanor:
    • You may petition for expungement 7 years after your conviction or sentence is served, whichever occurs later.
    • You cannot have any outstanding judgments related to this conviction.
    • You cannot have any other convictions during the 7-year waiting period.
  • Nonviolent Felony Conviction:
    • You may petition for expungement 10 years after your conviction or sentence is served, whichever occurs later.
    • You cannot have any other conviction that is ineligible for expunction.
    • You cannot have any outstanding judgments related to this conviction.
    • You cannot have any other convictions during the 10-year waiting period.

If you are granted an expunction, any subsequent crimes are not eligible for expunction, even if they meet the above criteria.

Contact Us Today

Contact us at 704.370.2828 and speak with one of our criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to see if you qualify for an expungement under the Second Chance Act. For your convenience and safety, we now offer phone and video conferencing. If you prefer an in-person consultation, we have three easy to reach locations in Uptown Charlotte, Monroe, and Mooresville.

For further resources regarding the Second Chance Act, please see the below: