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Don’t forget the next steps after your criminal case is dismissed: Expungement!

Did you know that there is one very important step you can, and often should, take after your criminal case is dismissed?

Have you, or your son/daughter or other family member been criminally charged with something like simple possession (of marijuana), and succeeded in having the State dismiss that charge, or been found “not guilty” of the charge?  Have you or your loved one been actually found “guilty” of a criminal misdemeanor charge, even certain non-violent felony charges, while under the age of 18 (or 21, for certain alcohol-related offenses)?

Is there still some concern that, even though the charge has been dismissed or disposed of by a “not guilty” verdict, there may be something on your or your loved one’s “record” that my negatively impact your, his or her attempt to find new employment? The North Carolina General Statutes (“the law”) provide relief from these concerns in Chapter 15A-145 and following sections, in the form or “expunction” (sometimes referred as “expungement.”)  Specifically, what is “expunction?”

“Expunction,” or “expungement,” is the process by which a person who meets the requirements of the expunction laws formally applies to the court for his or her being returned to the status enjoyed prior to the arrest, charge or indictment (or in some cases, the conviction).  The court, in such a proceeding, orders all law enforcement agencies, the Division of Motor Vehicles and any other state or local agency having a record of such matters “expunge” (or remove) their records of the criminal charge(s) involved.

Further, the person seeking the expunction will not be guilty of perjury or giving a false statement, after the expunction is granted, for his or her failure to recite or acknowledge the arrest, indictment, trial or conviction.  This basically means that one need not even inform a prospective employer of the charge, and any record of that charge that might otherwise appear on one’s criminal record check (which many, if not most, prospective employers now routinely require) simply will not appear, and need not be disclosed or addressed to or with the prospective employer.  In other words, your record can be clean again.

This relief under North Carolina law can be particularly important to first-time job seekers, or recent graduates of college or trade school programs.  That simple possession charge from one’s youth cannot be an obstacle to an otherwise stellar record of the applicant for the position.  Further, certain professional or trade licenses which may have been suspended solely because of the criminal charge involved may be restored or reinstated under this law.

Applying for “expunction” or “expungement” is certainly of great benefit to qualifying individuals and can only be done once.  The filing fee to the Clerk of Superior Court is only $175, and the cost of having an attorney advise as to the specific relief for which one may qualify, and to assist with one’s preparing the necessary documents to apply for this relief is quite reasonable.

Would this legal procedure be of help to you, or your son or daughter?  Apple Payne Law would be happy to assist you with this process!  Clear your criminal record, before it negatively impacts your life in a significant way! Contact us today to setup a 30 minute, free consultation, either in person or over the phone.

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Kernersville NC 27284

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Winston-Salem NC 27103