North Carolina

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N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 15A-1415(10), 15A-145.9; 15A-1416.1

North Carolina expanded its criminal record relief laws in 2019.  Previously, survivors of trafficking could only petition to expunge or vacate convictions for prostitution offenses committed as a result of trafficking. Now, survivors can seek to expunge or vacate other nonviolent offenses.

Another change in 2019 removed the eighteen-month waiting period for expunction of juvenile records if the petitioner participated in the offense as a result of having been a victim of human trafficking. This allows people who have been trafficked to petition for expunction of these records immediately and, possibly, reduce the collateral consequences that can make someone vulnerable to ongoing or subsequent victimization.

There are other paths to criminal record relief in North Carolina regardless of survivor status. North Carolina law allows for expunction of first-time convictions of a nonviolent offense, first-time convictions of certain offenses committed before age 18/22 and charges that were dismissed or disposed “not guilty.”

This webpage was produced by Freedom Network USA under Grant Number 2017-VT-BX-K018, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this document are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.