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Understanding expungement and expunction

| Jan 19, 2021 | Criminal law

A criminal record can affect everything from what schools you can attend and what jobs you can get to the houses that you can potentially rent. Those who have an old blemish on their criminal record might want to leave the past behind.

Removing blemishes from your criminal record or having certain details sealed so that they are no longer available to the public can help those who have moved on from previous criminal behavior to achieve a better future. In North Carolina, people talk about both expungements and expunctions. What is the difference?

An expunction and an expungement are basically the same thing

Under North Carolina law, the words expunction and expungement are basically interchangeable. They both refer to the legal process that seals part of someone’s criminal record or removes specific information from public records.

While many states only have one statute that addresses the sealing of criminal records, North Carolina has multiple laws that deal with expungements or expunctions.

Do you qualify for an expungement?

There are many different situations in which someone might qualify for an expungement. Some of the rules in North Carolina specifically apply to those who are minors at the time of their crime. Others help protect those who only have one criminal offense and avoid all future criminal issues. The plea you entered, how long it’s been since the conviction and other factors can influence your eligibility.

Different circumstances may qualify you under different state statutes. Discussing your criminal record with an attorney can help you determine if you may qualify to seal part of your criminal record.