Expunction of Records
15A-145. Expunction of records for first offenders under the age of 18 at the time of conviction of misdemeanor; expunction of certain other misdemeanors.
(a) Whenever any person who has not previously been convicted of any felony, or misdemeanor other than a traffic violation, under the laws of the United States, the laws of this State or any other state, (i) pleads guilty to or is guilty of a misdemeanor other than a traffic violation, and the offense was committed before the person attained the age of 18 years, or (ii) pleads guilty to or is guilty of a misdemeanor possession of alcohol pursuant to G.S. 18B-302(b)(1), and the offense was committed before the person attained the age of 21 years, he may file a petition in the court of the county where he was convicted for expunction of the misdemeanor from his criminal record. The petition cannot be filed earlier than: (i) two years after the date of the conviction, or (ii) the completion of any period of probation, whichever occurs later, and the petition shall contain, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) An affidavit by the petitioner that he has been of good behavior for the two-year period since the date of conviction of the misdemeanor in question and has not been convicted of any felony, or misdemeanor other than a traffic violation, under the laws of the United States or the laws of this State or any other state.
(2) Verified affidavits of two persons who are not related to the petitioner or to each other by blood or marriage, that they know the character and reputation of the petitioner in the community in which he lives and that his character and reputation are good.
(3) A statement that the petition is a motion in the cause in the case wherein the petitioner was convicted.
(4) Repealed by Session Laws 2010-174, s. 2, effective October 1, 2010, and applicable to petitions for expunctions filed on or after that date.
(4a) An application on a form approved by the Administrative Office of the Courts requesting and authorizing a name-based State and national criminal record check by the Department of Public Safety using any information required by the Administrative Office of the Courts to identify the individual and a search of the confidential record of expunctions maintained by the Administrative Office of the Courts. The application shall be filed with the clerk of superior court. The clerk of superior court shall forward the application to the Department of Public Safety and to the Administrative Office of the Courts, which shall conduct the searches and report their findings to the court.
(5) An affidavit by the petitioner that no restitution orders or civil judgments representing amounts ordered for restitution entered against him are outstanding.
The petition shall be served upon the district attorney of the court wherein the case was tried resulting in conviction. The district attorney shall have 10 days thereafter in which to file any objection thereto and shall be duly notified as to the date of the hearing of the petition.
The judge to whom the petition is presented is authorized to call upon a probation officer for any additional investigation or verification of the petitioner's conduct during the two-year period that he deems desirable.
(a1) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to allow the expunction of any offense involving impaired driving as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(24a).
(b) If the court, after hearing, finds that the petitioner had remained of good behavior and been free of conviction of any felony or misdemeanor, other than a traffic violation, for two years from the date of conviction of the misdemeanor in question, the petitioner has no outstanding restitution orders or civil judgments representing amounts ordered for restitution entered against him, and (i) petitioner was not 18 years old at the time of the offense in question, or (ii) petitioner was not 21 years old at the time of the offense of possession of alcohol pursuant to G.S. 18B-302(b)(1), it shall order that such person be restored, in the contemplation of the law, to the status he occupied before such arrest or indictment or information.
(b1) No person as to whom such order has been entered shall be held thereafter under any provision of any laws to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of his failure to recite or acknowledge such arrest, or indictment, information, or trial, or response to any inquiry made of him for any purpose. This subsection shall not apply to a sentencing hearing when the person has been convicted of a subsequent criminal offense.
(c) The court shall also order that the misdemeanor conviction, or a civil revocation of a drivers license as the result of a criminal charge, be expunged from the records of the court. The court shall direct all law-enforcement agencies, the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety, the Division of Motor Vehicles, and any other State or local government agencies identified by the petitioner as bearing record of the same to expunge their records of the petitioner's conviction or a civil revocation of a drivers license as the result of a criminal charge. This subsection does not apply to civil or criminal charges based upon the civil revocation, or to civil revocations under G.S. 20-16.2. The clerk shall notify State and local agencies of the court's order as provided in G.S. 15A-150. The clerk shall forward a certified copy of the order to the Division of Motor Vehicles for the expunction of a civil revocation provided the underlying criminal charge is also expunged. The civil revocation of a drivers license shall not be expunged prior to a final disposition of any pending civil or criminal charge based upon the civil revocation.
(d) The clerk shall notify State and local agencies of the court's order as provided in G.S. 15A-150.
(d1) Repealed by Session Laws 2012-191, s. 3, effective December 1, 2012.
(e) A person who files a petition for expunction of a criminal record under this section must pay the clerk of superior court a fee of one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175.00) at the time the petition is filed. Fees collected under this subsection are payable to the Administrative Office of the Courts. The clerk of superior court shall remit one hundred twenty-two dollars and fifty cents ($122.50) of each fee to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety for the costs of criminal record checks performed in connection with processing petitions for expunctions under this section. The remaining fifty-two dollars and fifty cents ($52.50) of each fee shall be retained by the Administrative Office of the Courts and used to pay the costs of processing petitions for expunctions under this section. This subsection does not apply to petitions filed by an indigent. (1973, c. 47, s. 2; c. 748; 1975, c. 650, s. 5; 1977, c. 642, s. 1; c. 699, ss. 1, 2; 1979, c. 431, ss. 1, 2; 1985, c. 636, s. 1; 1999-406, s. 8; 2002-126, ss. 29A.5(a), (b); 2004-133, s. 1; 2005-276, s. 43.1(e); 2007-509, s. 1; 2008-187, s. 35; 2009-510, s. 4(a), (b); 2009-577, s. 10; 2010-174, ss. 2, 3; 2011-145, s. 19.1(h); 2012-191, s. 3; 2013-360, s. 18B.16(a); 2014-100, s. 17.1(o); 2015-150, s. 2; 2017-186, s. 2(qq); 2017-195, s. 1.)
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