In North Carolina a misdemeanor conviction eligible for expungement can be expunged five years after the date of conviction. For an eligible felony, you can petition the court ten years after the date of conviction.
As far as determining whether your conviction/s is/are eligible for expungement, North Carolina has at least sixteen expungement statutes. As of December 1, 2021, criminal records eligible for expunction in North Carolina are generally limited to the following categories:
• Up to three “non-violent” felony convictions (NC law defines “violent convictions” at NCGS 15A-145.5(a). Some of these convictions are not what we normally think of as “violent”).
• One or multiple “non-violent” misdemeanor convictions*
• A first-time conviction of certain offenses committed before age 18/22
• One or multiple convictions of certain offenses committed before age 18 that occurred before December
• All charges that are dismissed or disposed “not guilty”*
• A conviction that was the result of being the victim of human trafficking.
In some ways the qualifications for expungement listed above are intuitive. In other ways they are extremely complex. Having an attorney assist you in evaluating your past convictions and ensuring they can or can’t be expunged can be immensely helpful. We are experienced with North Carolina post conviction law and are happy to discuss your options in a consultation. If you know legal fees are going to be an issue, you can reach out to legal aid of North Carolina or contact the office of indigent services for North Carolina for referrals.