State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15A > GS_15A-146

§ 15A‑146.  Expunctionof records when charges are dismissed or there are findings of not guilty.

(a)        If any person ischarged with a crime, either a misdemeanor or a felony, or was charged with aninfraction under G.S. 18B‑302(i) prior to December 1, 1999, and thecharge is dismissed, or a finding of not guilty or not responsible is entered,that person may apply to the court of the county where the charge was broughtfor an order to expunge from all official records any entries relating to hisapprehension or trial. The court shall hold a hearing on the application and,upon finding that the person had not previously received an expungement underthis section, G.S. 15A‑145, G.S. 15A‑145.1, 15A‑145.2, or 15A‑145.3,and that the person had not previously been convicted of any felony under thelaws of the United States, this State, or any other state, the court shallorder the expunction. No person as to whom such an order has been entered shallbe held thereafter under any provision of any law to be guilty of perjury, orto be guilty of otherwise giving a false statement or response to any inquirymade for any purpose, by reason of his failure to recite or acknowledge anyexpunged entries concerning apprehension or trial.

(a1)      Notwithstandingsubsection (a) of this section, if a person is charged with multiple offensesand all the charges are dismissed, or findings of not guilty or not responsibleare made, then a person may apply to have each of those charges expunged if theoffenses occurred within the same 12‑month period of time or if thecharges are dismissed or findings are made at the same term of court. Unlesscircumstances otherwise clearly provide, the phrase "term of court"shall mean one week for superior court and one day for district court. There isno requirement that the multiple offenses arise out of the same transaction oroccurrence or that the multiple offenses were consolidated for judgment. Thecourt shall hold a hearing on the application. If the court finds (i) that theperson had not previously received an expungement under this subsection, orthat any previous expungement received under this subsection occurred prior toOctober 1, 2005 and was for an offense that occurred within the same 12‑monthperiod of time, or was dismissed or findings made at the same term of court, asthe offenses that are the subject of the current application, (ii) that theperson had not previously received an expungement under G.S. 15A‑145, 15A‑145.1,15A‑145.2, or 15A‑145.3, and (iii) that the person had not previouslybeen convicted of any felony under the laws of the United States, this State,or any other state, the court shall order the expunction. No person as to whomsuch an order has been entered shall be held thereafter under any provision ofany law to be guilty of perjury, or to be guilty of otherwise giving a falsestatement or response to any inquiry made for any purpose, by reason of hisfailure to recite or acknowledge any expunged entries concerning apprehensionor trial.

(b)        (Effective untilOctober 1, 2010) The court may also order that the said entries, includingcivil revocations of drivers licenses as a result of the underlying charge,shall be expunged from the records of the court, and direct all law‑enforcementagencies, including the Division of Motor Vehicles, bearing record of the sameto expunge their records of the entries, including civil revocations of driverslicenses as a result of the underlying charge being expunged. This subsectiondoes not apply to civil or criminal charges based upon the civil revocation, orto civil revocations under G.S. 20‑16.2. The clerk shall forward acertified copy of the order to the sheriff, chief of police, or other arrestingagency. The clerk shall forward a certified copy of the order to the Division ofMotor Vehicles for the expunction of a civil revocation provided the underlyingcriminal charge is also expunged. The civil revocation of a drivers licenseshall not be expunged prior to a final disposition of any pending civil orcriminal charge based upon the civil revocation. The sheriff, chief or head ofsuch other arresting agency shall then transmit the copy of the order with theform supplied by the State Bureau of Investigation to the State Bureau ofInvestigation, and the State Bureau of Investigation shall forward the order tothe Federal Bureau of Investigation. The costs of expunging these records shallnot be taxed against the petitioner.

(b)        (EffectiveOctober 1, 2010) The court may also order that the said entries, includingcivil revocations of drivers licenses as a result of the underlying charge,shall be expunged from the records of the court, and direct all law‑enforcementagencies, the Department of Correction, the Division of Motor Vehicles, and anyother State or local government agencies identified by the petitioner asbearing record of the same to expunge their records of the entries, includingcivil revocations of drivers licenses as a result of the underlying chargebeing expunged. This subsection does not apply to civil or criminal chargesbased upon the civil revocation, or to civil revocations under G.S. 20‑16.2.The clerk shall notify State and local agencies of the court's order asprovided in G.S. 15A‑150. The clerk shall forward a certified copy of theorder to the Division of Motor Vehicles for the expunction of a civilrevocation provided the underlying criminal charge is also expunged. The civilrevocation of a drivers license shall not be expunged prior to a finaldisposition of any pending civil or criminal charge based upon the civilrevocation. The costs of expunging the records, as required under G.S. 15A‑150,shall not be taxed against the petitioner.

(b1)      Any person entitledto expungement under this section may also apply to the court for an orderexpunging DNA records when the person's case has been dismissed by the trialcourt and the person's DNA record or profile has been included in the State DNADatabase and the person's DNA sample is stored in the State DNA Databank. Acopy of the application for expungement of the DNA record or DNA sample shallbe served on the district attorney for the judicial district in which thefelony charges were brought not less than 20 days prior to the date of thehearing on the application. If the application for expungement is granted, acertified copy of the trial court's order dismissing the charges shall beattached to an order of expungement. The order of expungement shall include thename and address of the defendant and the defendant's attorney and shall directthe SBI to send a letter documenting expungement as required by subsection (b2)of this section.

(b2)      Upon receiving anorder of expungement entered pursuant to subsection (b1) of this section, theSBI shall purge the DNA record and all other identifying information from theState DNA Database and the DNA sample stored in the State DNA Databank coveredby the order, except that the order shall not apply to other offenses committedby the individual that qualify for inclusion in the State DNA Database and theState DNA Databank. A letter documenting expungement of the DNA record anddestruction of the DNA sample shall be sent by the SBI to the defendant and thedefendant's attorney at the address specified by the court in the order ofexpungement.

(c)        (Effective untilOctober 1, 2010) The Clerk of Superior Court in each county in NorthCarolina shall, as soon as practicable after each term of court in his county,file with the Administrative Office of the Courts, the names of those personsgranted an expungement under the provisions of this section and theAdministrative Office of the Courts shall maintain a confidential filecontaining the names of persons granted such expungement. The informationcontained in such files shall be disclosed only to judges of the General Courtof Justice of North Carolina for the purpose of ascertaining whether any personcharged with an offense has been previously granted an expungement.

(c)        (EffectiveOctober 1, 2010) The clerk shall notify State and local agencies of thecourt's order as provided in G.S. 15A‑150.  (1979, c. 61; 1985, c. 636,ss. 1‑7; 1991, c. 326, s. 1; 1997‑138, s. 1; 1999‑406, s. 9;2001‑108, s. 2; 2001‑282, s. 1; 2002‑126, s. 29A.5(c); 2005‑452,s. 1; 2007‑509, s. 2; 2009‑510, s. 5(a), (b); 2009‑577, ss.3.1, 8, 9.)