Are you afraid that a past conviction will hamper opportunities that may come your way? Your fears are not misplaced since potential employers may ask for your criminal history before hiring you. You may also lose out on education scholarships or even housing if a landlord requires tenants to have a clear record.
It may be high time you looked into expunging your criminal record. Here is what you need to know before setting out.
What is expungement?
Expungement means erasing or clearing an arrest or conviction from your record. When you have a criminal record expunged, it means that the conviction or arrest never happened, and it won’t show on your criminal history.
Not all crimes are eligible for expungement
To qualify for eligibility under North Carolina law, you have to meet the following criteria:
- You must meet the required waiting period for the record you want to be expunged
- You must have no warrant of arrest or any open criminal case
- You should not be on probation or parole with any court
Usually, your age and the severity of your crime will determine your eligibility. Importantly, if you are found not guilty, or your charges are dismissed, you are eligible for expungement.
Navigating your expungement
If you intend to have your record expunged, it is in your best interests that you have the necessary information before taking action. There is some paperwork involved which you need to get right. In addition, you need to be aware of the law surrounding your expungement in case any legal issues arise.
When done right, an expungement can save you a lot of trouble and improve the quality of your life. For instance, you will no longer be worried that someone will find out about your criminal past and use it against you.