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NC Criminal Record: Expungement Explained John Cox Law

Expunctions – Making It Go Away

If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor, there can be life changing consequences that go far beyond a fine or a prison sentence. Most people don’t know that all charges – even a ‘not guilty - show up on your criminal record. A simple misdemeanor charge can prohibit getting into the school of your choice. Certain types of charges prevent you from being hired as a bookkeeper, a cashier, or a nurse. Misdemeanor charges can even keep you from renting a home. But there may be good news.

Expunctions Erase the Charge. In North Carolina, an expunction is a process that allows qualifying individuals to have charges taken off their criminal record. Basically, an expunction means that your offense is erased, After an expunction, you are not legally required to reveal any facts about your arrest or trial to anyone. Expunctions are sometimes referred to as expungements.

Expunctions on the Basis of Age. If you have been convicted with a nonviolent felony or misdemeanor before the age of 18, you may be able to file a petition for expungements based on your age at the time of the offense. The petition can be filed as early as four years after the conviction. There are restrictions and further requirements, but an expungement can help you put a youthful indiscretion behind you.

Expunction of certain misdemeanors and felonies - no age limitation. No matter your age, you may be able to file a petition for expungement for certain non-violent felonies or misdemeanors. In order to file, a period of 5 years for misdemeanors and 10 years for felonies must have passed since your conviction and/or sentencing has been completed. To be eligible, you will first have to show that your record has been clean since the original charge. There are several other parts to the petition, including the filing of several types of affidavits from you and from others. We will walk through this process.

Deferred Disposition? 90-96? It’s Not the Same. It’s a common misperception an expunction isn’t necessary if you receive a deferred disposition. Participating in a first offenders or a 90-96 program is not the same as an expunction. These programs only provide for a conditional discharge of some drug offenses, but the charge remains on your record. A deferred disposition can pave the way for an expunction, but the actual expunction is a separate step.

Dismissed Cases: Even if you had a criminal charge dismissed, the charge itself will still show up on your record. An expungement is the only way to erase it from your record.

Expunction law in North Carolina is very complex and intertwined. It’s constantly changing, and there are many steps in the process. At John Cox Law, we assist clients with expunctions every day. Our experience can help you make sure that every piece is in place to help you legally erase a difficult part of your past. Please contact our office at 336-260-9292 to begin the process of cleaning your record!

Here is the NC expunction statute: www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/ByArticle/Chapter_15A/Article_5.pdf


NC DWI Assessment - Arlind Kastrati, John Cox Law - 02/19/2020

If you’ve been charged with a DWI in North Carolina, you are at the beginning of a complicated process that can include fines, jail time, community service, and/or probation. Just being charged with a DWI results in the immediate loss of your driver license. Additional consequences vary for each individual and each offense, and it is important to get counsel.

The DWI Assessment is a mandatory part of the DWI process, because it determines the required treatment that is necessary to have your license restored with the DMV. It is important to note that completing the DWI assessment and treatment before your sentencing can help lessen the severity of the consequences of your DWI.

What Is a DWI Assessment?

A DWI assessment is really a simple interview, where you will meet with a substance abuse counselor. At your meeting, you will complete a standardized assessment called the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI-4). This questionnaire asks you about your use of alcohol and other substances. It uses your answers to measure the probability that you have a substance use disorder. The counselor will also examine your driving record and blood alcohol concentration. The facility is trained to make a treatment recommendation based on your assessment and the facts of your case.

What Happens After the Assessment?

The treatment is required by law, and varies in length and intensity. The least intensive is a 16 hour Alcohol and Drug Education Traffic School (ADETS). Other treatments include a short ten session out-patient treatment, a twenty session long term out-patient treatment, day treatment, or in-patient/residential treatment.

When Should I Take the DWI Assessment?

As stated before, it is very important to note that completing the DWI assessment and the recommended treatment before your sentencing will provide you with mitigating factors. Mitigating factors help lessen the severity of the consequences of your DWI.

An assessment is valid for 6 months. You must start your recommended treatment within 6 months or you will have to be reassessed.

Location and Cost of The DWI Assessment.

There are several places throughout the state that offer DWI Assessments, the ADETS, and other treatments. You may choose the provider most convenient for you from this list.

DWI Assessment: $100
ADETS: $160
Short-term outpatient treatment: $400 or $40 per session
Long-term outpatient treatment:  $800 or $40 per session

Day and in-patient treatments vary in cost depending on the duration and other factors.

Preparing for the DWI Assessment.

Take all court documents you have with you to the assessment center. The center will also run your driving record.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the DWI Assessment or any aspect of your DWI, call us at 336-221-9292 or use our handy Contact form. We have over 20 years of experience handling DWI charges and guiding clients through the complexities involved.

A DWI charge is serious, and a mistake in the process can leave you with consequences that can stay with you for your whole life. Our lawyers can help you understand the legal steps, the local laws, and the implications a DWI will have on your driver’s license and your record. Call 336.221.9292 today for your free consultation.

Resources:

Important information about Driving While Impaired (DWI): https://www.ncdhhs.gov/assistance/mental-health-substance-abuse/driving-while-impaired

Find a DWI services center near you: https://www.ncdmh.net//providerlist/CountyList.aspx