Some North Carolina residents run into problems with the law. They may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time or made an error in judgment. If you are looking to move on from a conviction, your criminal record may continue to impede you, perhaps making it hard for you to get a job. Fortunately, state law offers expunction as a possible solution.
The North Carolina Judicial Branch website explains that expunction, also called expungement, is the process that removes a criminal charge or a conviction from an individual’s record. If you qualify, you may reap a number of benefits.
Expunction cleans your record
Once a court has approved your expunction, the court will seal or destroy the record of your criminal conviction, meaning it will not turn up on a background check. The expunction of your record makes it unlikely that anyone checking your personal history will find out about your arrest and conviction. This increases your chances that you will find employment, secure a financial loan or gain admittance to a school or a college.
You do not have to admit to a crime
Another benefit is that you do not have to admit to committing the offense that the government has expunged. This can help you when you interview for a job or to rent an apartment. Additionally, sealing or destroying your criminal record offers general protection against perjury. If you are under oath, you should not have to admit to the crime that the state has expunged from your record.
The limitations of expunction
Expunging your record might not always prevent other parties from learning of your conviction. Sometimes an expunged case turns up in federal immigration cases. Federal government agencies may also learn about your expunged criminal conviction if you apply for a government job. Additionally, you may have another criminal conviction that is not eligible for expunction.
Still, there are multiple reasons why pursuing expunction is worthwhile. There are different requirements for expunction, so be sure that you prepare your application based on the state’s specific guidelines for your conviction.