NC Expunction Laws Give New Hope to Countless Thousands of North Carolinians

November 20, 2017

Effective December 1, 2017, the North Carolina General Assembly has implemented the broadest and possibly most important changes to existing North Carolina expunction laws to date. Senate Bill 445 passed the North Carolina Senate by a 47-2 vote and the House by a 103-2 vote. This bill contains numerous changes, but there are two MASSIVE changes in particular that this post is meant to highlight. If you are interested in an expunction and believe you meet these criteria or are close, you should contact us immediately at 336-574-2788!

NCGS 15A-146

Perhaps the most important change made by the legislature is under the expunction statute for dismissed charges or findings of not guilty. For years petitioners were limited to a single expunction under this statute, meaning you could only expunge one charge or one group of charges; however, under the new law petitioners can now receive unlimited expunctions of dismissed charges or not guilty charges, SO LONG AS THEY HAD NOT PREVIOUSLY BEEN CONVICTED OF A FELONY. The implications of this change are MASSIVE. If you have dismissed charges on your record you would like expunged, even if you have already previously had other dismissed charges expunged, you will now be eligible for further expunctions as of December 1, 2017!

NCGS 15A-145.5

The second most important change made by the legislature is under the expunction statute for convictions. While the legislature did not change the criteria as to what convictions may be expunged (limited to “non-violent” felonies and misdemeanors as defined by the statute) and the requirement that the individual not have any other misdemeanor or felony convictions other than those sought to be expunged, the legislature has reduced the waiting period from 15 years to only 10 years for eligible felony convictions and only 5 years for eligible misdemeanors.

As always, we will keep you updated of changes in North Carolina expunction laws. We have handled hundreds if not thousands of expunctions and are widely recognized for our abilities in this area. We would be happy to help you determine if you are eligible for an expunction and if so, to assist you in cleaning up your past records. If you think you are potentially eligible for an expunction, give us a call at 336-574-2788.

The Clifford Division of Clifford Clendenin & O’Hale, LLP (Clifford & Harris, PLLC as of January 1, 2018) is located in Greensboro, North Carolina and practices almost exclusively in State and Federal Criminal Defense. The Firm consists of Attorneys Locke T. Clifford, Andrew C. Clifford and Daniel A. Harris. All three are regularly included in SuperLawyers and Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite and represent several generations of excellence and a legacy of success. The firm handles all levels Felonies and Misdemeanors, DWIs, Traffic tickets, Expungements, Juvenile charges, DMV hearings, and much more. To learn more, visit