Your Criminal Record And Its Impact On Your Life
Regardless of how old a conviction may be or how much you’ve changed since being charged, the fact that a conviction still appears on your criminal record can create substantial barriers for you, including problems obtaining gainful employment, affordable housing, access to your children and other things that would otherwise allow you to function as a productive member of society.
Most criminal convictions do not simply go away on their own, but rather stay with a person for the rest of their life. To avoid this frustrating and disheartening fact, residents in North Carolina should know that they may be able to clear their criminal record with an expungement.
How Expungements Work
An expungement, also referred to as an expunction, is a process by which a person who has been convicted of a crime petitions the court to have their record sealed. If an expungement is granted, the record is sealed and the individual’s record returns to the state it was in prior to the conviction.
It’s important to know that not all criminal charges can be expunged. Recent changes to North Carolina law only allow expungements if:
- The charges were dismissed
- The charges were disposed (the individual was found not guilty)
- The charge was a first-time offense committed by a person under the age of 18/22
- The charge was a nonviolent, first-time offense that happened more than 15 years ago
The Benefits Of Requesting An Expungement
There are many benefits to requesting an expungement. For starters, an expungement restores a person’s criminal record, meaning it will no longer interfere with things like employment and housing. If a job or rent application asks if you have ever been convicted of a crime, an expungement allows you to say no.
Contact Our Firm For Assistance
Not only are expungements granted in very specific situations, it is also a very labor intensive process. It takes a strong understanding of the law to know how to navigate the record sealing process efficiently and effectively. At The Jones Law Firm, P.A., our defense attorney, Steven R. Jones, knows the process well and offers free initial consultations to those in Pitt County and surrounding areas.
If you’d like to learn more about the expungement process or to see if your record is eligible for expungement, we encourage you to contact our Greenville office by email or by phone: 252-848-4421 (toll free 888-309-8202) and talk to a lawyer.