Can I Clean Up My Criminal Record?

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question:”A past conviction is keeping me from finding work. What can I do?”


We have all done things in our past that we would like to forget. Unfortunately, if what you want to forget was a conviction for a crime, your criminal record will make that difficult. However, some crimes might be able to be wiped from your criminal record. There are different tools that might be used to clean up a person’s criminal record, but one of the most common is expungement.


chalk-and-eraser-Charlotte-Monroe-Lake-Norman-Expungement-Lawyer-300x225North Carolina has specific rules regarding receiving an expungement. An expungement wipes an individual’s criminal record free of a particular crime or crimes. One of the first steps in determining whether you are eligible for an expungement or not is to consider these four questions:


  1. What was your age at the time the charges were brought?
  2. Were you arrested for the crime?
  3. Were you charged with the crime and subsequently convicted?
  4. Have you had any other prior expungements performed?


If the answers to numbers two and three are no, there is likely no reason for an expungement because there will be no record of a crime committed.


In the past, people were only eligible to receive one expungement in a lifetime. The laws have changed, however, and there is now a possibility that you could receive more than one expungement during your lifetime if you meet the requirements. Prior expungements are not an automatic refusal for another expungement of a criminal conviction.


In North Carolina, only certain crimes are eligible for an expungement — “nonviolent” misdemeanors or “nonviolent” felonies. For example, if someone has been convicted of murder, it will be nearly impossible to get that conviction expunged from his or her record. The crimes that are specifically excluded from expungement include:


  • Class A through G felonies
  • Class A1 Misdemeanor
  • Crimes involving assault as an essential element of the offense committed
  • Certain sexually based offenses
  • Certain stalking offenses
  • Convictions involving methamphetamines, heroin, or cocaine
  • Using a motor vehicle for the commission of a crime
  • Impaired driving convictions


North Carolina has specific programs for expunging a criminal record. Depending on the age of the convicted and the nature of the crime, there are different requirements for expungement that your lawyer can help you sort through. There are different methods to receive expungements for adults and juveniles.


If you are seeking help to expunge a criminal record, the criminal law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are here to help you. We know that everyone makes mistakes and sometimes those mistakes can result in a criminal conviction. Criminal convictions often have lasting effects on those convicted far beyond the completion of the sentence. An expungement might be the solution for you to rid yourself of those collateral consequences and move forward. Let us try to help you eliminate those from your record, if possible, and get you a clean start for the rest of your life. Contact us today for a consultation. If you find yourself facing criminal charges and need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney in or around Charlotte, Lake Norman, or our new office in Monroe (by appointment only until 2019), please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.








The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.





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