An order of expungement, also known as an order of expunction, can wipe an individual's criminal record clean of certain types of offenses. You can save money on the process by getting an order of expungement yourself instead of hiring a lawyer to do it. You apply for expungement from the court in which you were charged or convicted, so the procedure may vary slightly from one county to the next. In North Carolina, expunction removes one misdemeanor criminal charge or conviction from an individual's criminal record and restores the individual's status in the eyes of the law to his pre-charge or pre-conviction status. The North Carolina statutes regulate the amount the county can charge you to expunge your record.
When to Apply
If you were convicted of an offense as a minor, you may apply for expunction two years after the date of your conviction. If you were convicted of misdemeanor larceny as an adult, you may apply for expunction 15 years after the date of your conviction. After you apply, the district attorney for the county that entered your conviction has up to 10 days to object to your petition for expungement.
As of July 2010, a person requesting expungement of a criminal record must pay a filing fee of $125 to the clerk of the court that entered the conviction. If you cannot afford the $125 filing fee, you may apply for indigent status. If the court approves your request for indigent status, the $125 filing fee may be deferred or waived.
If you petition the court to expunge a criminal offense you committed as a minor, you must submit a personal affidavit verifying that you have had good behavior and have not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor other than a traffic violation for two years after the conviction. If you seek to have an adult criminal conviction expunged, you must verify the same information for 15 years following the conviction. Other requirements include verified affidavits of two references, who cannot be related to you, who vouch for your good character and reputation, and a personal affidavit that no restitution orders against you are outstanding.
After your expunction order is granted, all North Carolina law enforcement agencies that had a record of your conviction must delete or remove the record. If, after expunction, you complete an application or form that asks under penalty if you have ever been convicted of a crime, and your only conviction was the expunged crime, you may truthfully answer "no" to the question, and you cannot be prosecuted for perjury for stating that you have no criminal convictions.
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