The six-pack of beer that a law enforcement officer discovered in your car during a party was not even yours, but it hardly mattered. The judge found you guilty of misdemeanor possession of alcohol.
You were 17 years old at the time. A little over two years have passed since your conviction. Are you eligible to have your record expunged?
Understanding the law
In December 2017, the Governor of North Carolina signed Senate Bill 445, which addressed the topic of expungement. The bill became effective immediately and, among other changes to the law, reduced the wait time for expunging non-violent misdemeanors, such as your conviction for underage possession of alcohol.
Meeting the requirements
Among other requirements for record expungement, you must complete any court-ordered education, diversion or community service programs, and you must pay all fines. In addition, there must be no new offenses or charges pending against you. You must file a petition for expungement in the county court in which you were originally convicted.
You must sign and present the court with an affidavit stating that you have been “of good behavior” in the two years since the conviction. The court will also want the verified affidavits of two people who are not related to you or to each other who will confirm your good character and reputation within the community in which you reside.
Enjoying the benefits of expungement
You may still be a college student looking forward to graduation and perhaps hoping to attend graduate school. You may have plans for a career that requires a state license or certification. A conviction on your record could block some, if not all, of those plans. However, expungement will remove the stain on your record. If questioned as to whether you have ever had a conviction, you can honestly and legally answer “no.” Expungement will give you a fresh start and the ability to pursue your plans unencumbered by a conviction for underage possession of a six-pack of beer that was not even yours.