Written by attorney George Wilmarth Nickel III

How to Expunge my North Carolina criminal record

North Carolina Expungement Lawyer

Your case is over but your record remains visible for all to see!

If your case was dismissed, you can protect your reputation and rebuild your life through the process of Expunging your criminal record (also called Expunction). Even if your case was dismissed a record still remains that is visible to future employers, current employers, customers, landlords, colleges, insurers and anyone else who might do a check on your record.

If you worked with your attorney to negotiate a dismissal of your criminal charge or are found not guilty at trial your criminal arrest record will still remain. Even if you get a voluntary dismissal the original criminal charge will always be on your record. If your record is expunged then all searches of your record will show a clean criminal record and a clean public arrest record.

Why do you need an Expungement?

As soon as an Expungement has been granted North Carolina law ( states that you do not have to say you were ever arrested, charged or stood trial for the Expunged offense. Read this very closely! Under North Carolina Law: "no person as to whom such an order has been entered… shall be held thereafter under any provision of any law to be guilty of perjury, or to be guilty of otherwise giving a false statement or response to any inquiry made for any purpose, by reason of the person's failure to recite or acknowledge any expunged entries concerning apprehension, charge, or trial."

Expungements for Pleas of Guilty or findings of Guilt at Trial

Even if your case was NOT dismissed there is still light at the end of the tunnel. There are still a number of different ways you can protect your reputation and have your record expunged. In certain situation North Carolina allows a once in a lifetime opportunity to clear the record associated with a guilty plea or a finding of guilt at trial. Contact the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel ( for a free consultation to see if you qualify to have your record Expunged (

You may be eligible for Expungement ( for the following:

  • Expungement of Juvenile Records
  • Expungement of Juvenile Records for Dismissed Cases
  • Expungement of Drug Offenses for Persons 21 and under
  • Expungement for Cases of Identity Theft
  • Expungement for Certain Very Old Misdemeanor Larceny Convictions
  • Expungement for Misdemeanor Possession of Alcohol (Under 21)
  • Expungement of Misdemeanors Committed before 18th Birthday
  • Expungement when charges are dismissed or there are findings of not guilty.
  • Expungement when a Pardon of Innocence is Granted by the Governor
  • Expungement for first offenders (21 and younger) of certain toxic vapors/drug paraphernalia charges.
  • Expungement of certain Gang Offenses (17 and younger)
  • Expungement of non-violent felonies committed under the age of 18

After your Expungement is Granted

An Expungement seals a case that has been dismissed from public view. When the process is completed all records from the Police Department, North Carolina Courts, Sheriff's Department (including your jail mug shot, photos on the Sheriff’s public website and fingerprints) will be sealed from the view of the general public. In some cases your DNA can be destroyed and your DMV records can possibly be erased. No future employers, current employers, customers, landlords, colleges and insurers can see what you have been accused of in the past.

Certain government agencies may still be able to find your criminal record after expungement but a general check of your record will show nothing. This means that a background-check done by your employer or college will usually not disclose any record of arrest or involvement in criminal activity.

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