A criminal record can be a bar to certain types of employment, licensing,
holding public office, and even the right to vote. Most states allow for a
process called expungement that will remove certain arrests or criminal convictions from the offender's
Depending upon the laws of the state in which you live and the nature of the
crime, you may be able to get an arrest or conviction sealed or erased from
your legal record. After the expungement process is complete, you will not
need to disclose the conviction on a job or school application, and in most
instances no record of the arrest or conviction will show up during a public
records inspection or background check commonly done by potential employers,
landlords, and educational institutions.
In North Carolina, current law states that expungement is available only for misdemeanor larceny and misdemeanor
offenses committed prior to age eighteen, except for misdemeanor possession
of alcohol or drugs. An individual is only entitled to one expungement in
After a Petition for Expungement is filed, the process can take between
eight months and a year to complete. After the expungement petition is
granted, the record of the arrest and the proceedings are physically
destroyed, and computer records are deleted. Various state agencies,
including the DMV and the State Bureau of Investigation, will be ordered to
search for and destroy any record of the criminal incident. Once the
expungement is complete, no person will be guilty of perjury or false
statement for denying knowledge of the expunged incident in response to an
inquiry on the matter.
For a full overview of expungement law in the state of North Carolina, see
the USLegal website.