“The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” said William Faulkner. It’s never more true than if you have a criminal conviction. As hard as you try to make a fresh start and forge ahead with a new life, you know your past is still hanging there, ready to reveal itself when you least want it.

One in three Americans has some type of criminal record, according to The Sentencing Project. That means one-third of Americans may find their lives blighted by their past.

Many employers carry out background checks when you apply for a job. If you have a criminal record, you could well lose out on the job. Education providers may also turn you down because of something in your past.

Even if you are not turned down by a potential employer or college, you know that they know about your past, and this can be disconcerting.

Expunging your record can allow you to clear your past from public records, at least. However, not all records can be expunged: it depends on several factors. These include what the record is for, how long ago it took place, how old you were when it took place and if you were convicted of the charge or not.

If you are considering expungement in North Carolina, you are not likely to be able to do it alone. An attorney who understands the regulations surrounding expungement can guide you through the process and help ensure the data is removed from places you may never even have considered it was stored.