As a college student, you have levels of freedom that you never had before. However, this newfound independence can lead you to make a mistake that results in a misdemeanor or felony conviction. You might worry that your mistake will derail your future career.
In North Carolina, you may be able to seek an expungement under certain circumstances.
What is an expungement?
An expungement, also called an expunction, is the process by which the courts remove a criminal conviction or charge from your record. As a part of this process, the state seals or tosses out its records of the charge or conviction. You will need to meet the requirements before filing a petition, including:
- Must wait the required amount of time for your charge
- Cannot be on parole or probation
- Must have paid any outstanding court fees
- Cannot have open criminal cases or warrants
Many misdemeanors are eligible for expungement after five years, and many felonies after 10.
What are the benefits of an expungement?
A key benefit of an expungement is that your arrest or conviction will not appear on your criminal record. This means that future employers will not see this information if they run a background check, though law enforcement and federal authorities can still access these records. Additionally, in most circumstances, you can deny that the arrest or conviction happened without committing perjury.
An expungement can help you get your professional life back on track. However, there are multiple factors that affect eligibility. Make sure you understand the requirements for your case.