The Second Chance Act is a bipartisan “clean slate” bill that automatically expunges your criminal charges that are dismissed or disposed “not guilty” starting in 2021, and allows individuals to petition for expungement of all nonviolent misdemeanor convictions after 7 years of good behavior at the end of 2020. It also allows for expungements of many convictions that individuals received for convictions with a date of arrest when they were under the age of 18. Criminal Defense Attorney Wiley Nickel explains how this bill could help thousands get a clean slate and erase those old convictions from their criminal record. The new expungement law changes will help many get a second chance with a clean record.
Significant new changes were made for North Carolina Expungement Laws. The big news is the Second Chance Act passed the North Carolina House this week, and we expect it quickly move along and get to the Governor for his signature. This bill will help people get expungements and erase old low-level criminal convictions and charges from their criminal records. The bill passed the Senate late in 2019 but didn’t move in the house, and now finally, it passed the house this week and is expected to be signed by the Governor.
The big question is, what is in the Second Chance Act? And How will this new law help you get an expungement?
3 most important things about the New Expungement law
The bill does a handful of things. Here are the 3 most important things about the new laws which you should know:
1 – It allows people with multiple misdemeanor convictions to get them erased from their criminal record. It will enable you to use it once, and you will not be allowed to use it again. In case you have two different convictions on two different dates, you probably wouldn’t be able to get any of them erased through the expungement process. It only allows a seven-year waiting period for people with eligible convictions on their crime records multiple convictions on different dates. Starting from December 2020, People will be able to petition the courts to get rid of low-level misdemeanor convictions and low-level felony convictions from their criminal records, so that is a big help for a lot of folks.
2- It allows people who have a conviction on their criminal record from when they were 16 or 17 years to get rid of a very expansive list of things that you can get rid of if you have a conviction from when you were 16 or 17. Last year we raised the age finally in North Carolina to 18 for criminal offenses. We were the latest in the country to treat the 16 and 17-year-old like adults for unlawful purposes. Now the expungement rules are catching up with that, so if you had got a conviction when you were 16 or 17 whether its a low-level felony or misdemeanor, then there is an easy way to get rid of those convictions from your records.
3-This act is helpful for folks that go in no effect right away, and the good news is we will be able to start doing the petitions likely in August or September 20203- Automatic Dismissal expungement. It doesn’t go into effect right away, and the next year 2021 allows for automatic dismissal expungement, so if you are in court and you have a dismissed case, the court would be able to push a button, and the expungement process will get started. Still, it doesn’t help anybody at all with dismissed cases prioritize December 2021, but moving forward, its a good thing and an important step for automatic expungements. If you have a dismissed case in your criminal record that happens in 2020 or most of 2021, you still need to go through the normal process of the petition in the courts for expungement, but these three big changes are beneficial for many people in getting a job.
If you have any questions regarding about North Carolina expungements, contact us at Granados Law Group, PLLC for free consultation at our number is 919-650-2851 to see if you are eligible for expungement. We handle through most of the entire state of NC expungements, and we would be happy to talk with you about the “Second Chance Act” and how it could help you with eligibility for expungement.