North Carolina Expunction – FAQ – Part 2
How is the Expunction Process Started?
First, there must be a determination that the charge/conviction is eligible for an expunction and which statute governs the expunction of that particular charge/conviction. This determination includes obtaining a copy of your complete criminal record. Once this is determined, the correct North Carolina Administrative Office of The Courts (NCAOC) petition form must be identified and completed. Senate Bill 445 enacted 28 July 2017, mandates that every petition use the appropriate petition form developed by the NCAOC. Failure to petition under the correct statute or use the correct petition form will cause the expunction to be rejected. Typically, the NCAOC petition form must be accompanied by an affidavit executed by the petitioner that he/she does not have any disqualifying prior expunction, and other documents to substantiate the petitioner’s good moral character and reputation. The expunction process is started by filing the correct NCAOC petition form, with supporting affidavits/documents in the Clerk’s Office of the county where the charge/conviction occurred. Some petitions require a filing fee before the petition will be accepted. This fee will be waived if the petitioner can show he/she is indigent.
What happens once the Petition for Expunction is Filed?
The Court is required to conduct a hearing once the petition is filed and determine whether the petitioner qualifies for the expunction sought. Once filed, the petition is forwarded to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) with the Court’s request to conduct a criminal record check of its records as well as the records for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine the petitioner’s criminal record. The Court also requests the NCAOC to check its records to determine whether the petitioner has received an earlier expunction. Once the SBI and NCAOC have completed these tasks, the petition is returned to the Court for the hearing. The District Attorney is entitled to be heard on most petitions. The Court considers the petition, along with information provided by the District Attorney, the SBI and the NCAOC.
How long does the Expunction Process take?
The time from filing the petition to the hearing is dependent on the volume of petitions filed and considered by the SBI and NCAOC. Currently, the period is approximately four (4) months from start to finish. However, using the wrong form or filing the petition under the wrong statute can significantly delay this time period.
How can we help you?
The expunction laws in North Carolina are complex and difficult to navigate in order to obtain their full benefit. Selecting the correct statute for your expunction and NCAOC petition form are critical to a successful expunction and avoiding lengthy delays. The Robinson Law Firm has over 30 years experience and has helped hundreds of people obtain the benefits of an expunction. We have also taught other attorneys how best to use the expunction laws to a client’s benefit. 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 1 & 3 here: