Were you convicted of the crime?
If the answer to this question is NO, move on to section two. You still may qualify. If the answer to this question is YES, you do not qualify to have the charge expunged. In North Carolina the only charges that can be expunged or removed from your criminal record are charges that you were found Not Guilty, or charges that received a dismissal. If you plead guilty or were convicted by a jury, you cannot have that charge removed from your criminal record. However, if you entered into a deferred program where you admitted guilt, but then the state dropped the charges, usually after you complete some sort of treatment or perform community service, you may still be eligible. The charge must have been dismissed. If the treatment or community service were part of your sentencing, you were probably convicted and cannot get the charge expunged. Your only hope is talking to an attorney about getting a motion for appropriate relief.
Have you ever been convicted of a Felony in ANY state?
If the answer this this question is No, move on to section three. You still may qualify. If the answer to this question is YES, you do not qualify to have the charge expunged. In North Carolina, if a person was convicted of any felony in any state, they cannot have their record expunged, even if the charge resulted in a Not Guilty or a dismissal.
Have you ever used an expunction before in North Carolina?
If the answer to this question is No, you probably meet all the criteria for an expunction. North Carolina allows one expunction per person per life. As such, I always recommend hiring an attorney to do the paperwork for you. If you only get one chance to do something, you want to make sure it is being done correctly. Also, an expunction can take anywhere from 2 to 8 months to complete. Avoiding mistakes is crucial to making sure your record is cleared at the earliest possible time. If the answer to this question is YES, you probably do not qualify for an expunction. You are only allowed one expunction in North Carolina. If you have had a similar process done in another state, it should not disqualify you.