Derek M. Gray
Anybody who faces criminal charges but avoids conviction for a criminal offense in North Carolina wants to expunge their criminal record to prevent possible damaging revelations occurring later, especially concerning employment applications. An expungement (or expunction as it is referred to in the North Carolina General Statutes) may be possible in some cases, but you will want the help of a Winston-Salem expungement lawyer to make this a reality.
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Not all crimes are eligible for expungement, so you will want to be sure that you qualify before you expend any effort in seeking an expunction. Know that North Carolina has several laws relating to expunging criminal offenses.
North Carolina General Statutes dealing with expungement include:
Before there can be an expungement, there may be a criminal sentence. Misdemeanors and felonies have different sentencing guidelines in North Carolina. The three types of possible penalties for misdemeanor convictions include:
Sentences in North Carolina are also based on prior conviction levels, with the three levels being:
After a judge reviews an alleged offender’s prior convictions, sentences can include:
When it comes to a felony, a court must determine an alleged offender’s prior criminal record level. Every prior conviction gets points as follows:
Record levels are then determined as follows:
The court can then either sentence an alleged offender within a presumptive range, aggravated range, or mitigated range. Felonies can result in the following prison sentences (fines are at a judge’s discretion):
Imprisonment and fines are the obvious consequences, but there can be other consequences to both misdemeanor and felony convictions in North Carolina. A lawful permanent resident (LPR) or “green card holder” may see negative impacts on their immigration status, but even United States citizens can still have to deal with the loss of a professional license, possible termination of child custody rights, and forfeiture of their gun rights.
Misdemeanors and felonies can both involve mitigating or aggravating factors that might impact the possible ability to secure an expungement. Aggravated and mitigated sentences are established under North Carolina General Statute § 15A-1340.16, and mitigating factors include:
Aggravating factors include:
Keeping in mind that a person will typically have to file their expungement request with the court that originally handles their case, the most common court for criminal proceedings in Winston-Salem is the district court that hears misdemeanors and infractions and the superior court that handles felony cases. Both the district and superior courthouse are in the Forsyth County Courthouse, located at:
200 N Main St.
Winston Salem, NC 27101
Forsyth County is District 22, but other nearby courts include:
District 22b Davidson County District Court Thomasville
22 Randolph Street
Thomasville, NC 27360
District 18 Guilford County District Court High Point
505 East Green Drive
High Point, NC 27262
Did you need assistance expunging your criminal record in Winston-Salem or a surrounding area of North Carolina? Get in touch with Graystar Legal to discuss all of your possible expungement options.
Not everybody will be eligible for expunction, but we can determine a path forward that can help minimize the effect your criminal record will have on your employment, ability to get housing, and other concerns. Contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation so we can really dig into the details of your case and help you explore all of your legal options.
you may be eligible for the First Offender program. This program may help you avoid a conviction and have your charges dismissed and possibly expunged from your record.
The prosecutor’s job is to convict you. Our job is to protect your rights
Correct. The North Carolina General Statutes specifically provide that no person for whom an order of expunction is entered can be held thereafter under any provision of any laws to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of that person’s failure to recite or acknowledge an expunged arrest, apprehension, charge, indictment, information, trial, or conviction.
Every expungement request has to be first submitted to a judge who makes a special request to the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) to search their records and confirm that a person qualifies for expungement and has never had an expungement before. The time it takes to expunge or seal a criminal record depends on how quickly the SBI returns this review to the judge, but the typical time frame is three to six months. Backlogs of expungement applicants can delay the process.
There is a required expungement form that includes important information about a conviction and also three affidavits, one of which is by the petitioner and two other affidavits from parties not related to the petitioner by blood or marriage that speak to the petitioner’s good character. There is also a filing fee of about $175.
Plea negotiations and guilty pleas can happen any time before a verdict.
Your parental rights can be removed and you can be removed from your family if you are found guilty of certain crimes. Whether going to prison keeps you away from your children or a specific crime, you do not want to lose your ability to be a parent when you lose a court case. Let’s find better results together.
In North Carolina, your right to bear arms can be stripped for specific crimes. This makes you even more vulnerable to attack and suffering by not being able to protect yourself. If you fear you may lose your second amendment rights because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, call now.
When you attempt to adopt a child, the state reviews your history with a criminal background check. You do not want charges to stick because you do not have good criminal defense representation, and later prohibit you from adopting a child.
If you are trying to apply for a job that requires a security clearance, you might find that a serious conviction could keep you from getting through the pre-vetting process, much less the checks necessary to get the right position.
If you are a student or considering going to school, your financial aid may become impacted by a criminal charge. Even if you are convicted of a crime after submitting some form of financial aid requests, you may lose your eligibility and even the opportunity surrounding your education.
Your career may be in danger if you are convicted of a criminal charge. Without a criminal defense attorney to help you navigate the legal system, it is quite possible that you lose your credentials and licensure based solely on your conviction. Do you drive for a living? Your DUI / DWI may paralyze your earnings. Work in the medical field? Many positions regulated by a State Board will not allow licensure due to certain convictions.
Here are the areas we serve and the criminal courts where your charges will be heard. The best thing you can do now is speak with a lawyer and get a free consultation.
Did you get arrested? Facing criminal charges? Wondering if you’ll go to jail? Afraid of what happens next? Don’t go alone.