North Carolina Expunction – FAQ – Part 1

November 17, 2017 – Published by Robinson Law Firm

What is an Expunction?

Expunction is the legal process that allows you to remove a criminal charge(s) and/or conviction(s) from your official criminal record.  Once completed, the expunction restores you, in the view of the law, to the status you occupied prior to the criminal charge.  At that time, the charge and/or conviction will no longer appear on your criminal record.

Who/What Crimes are eligible for an Expunction?

Any individual found not guilty as well as any charge that was dismissed is eligible for an expunction.  Specific criminal convictions are eligible for an expunction based upon the age of the person at the time of the conviction, the passage of time since the conviction, or the nature of the conviction.  Generally, these convictions are limited to the following categories:

  • First misdemeanor conviction for a person under the age of 18;
  • First conviction for possession of alcohol for a person under the age of 21;
  • Specific drug convictions when the person is under the age of 21;
  • First “non-violent” felony conviction for a person under the age of 18;
  • First “non-violent” felony or misdemeanor, regardless of age;
  • Criminal charges that were resolved by conditional discharge;
  • Criminal convictions when a person is granted a “pardon of innocence”.

Can the Expunction process be used more than once?

Prior to the recent enactment of Senate Bill 445 (SB 445), the expunction process was generally available only once during your lifetime.  SB 445 was signed into law by Governor Cooper on 28 July 2017, and is effective for all expunctions filed on and after 1 December 2017.  Most notably, SB 445 allows an unlimited number of expunctions where the criminal charge is dismissed or the person is found not guilty, and reduces the time period from 15 years to 10 years for the expunction of a “non-violent” felony and misdemeanor conviction.

How can we help you?

The expunction laws in North Carolina are complex and difficult to navigate in order to obtain their full benefit.  We have over 30 years experience and have helped hundreds of people obtain the benefits of an expunction.  The Robinson Law Firm has also taught other attorneys how best to use the expunction laws.  Let us help you today.  Contact The Robinson Law Firm for a free consultation to discuss how we can use the expunction laws to clean your criminal record.


To learn more about North Carolina Expunctions check out Part 2 & 3 here:

Part Two

Part Three

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