Before filing a petition for expungement, a person should be aware that there are 3 main factors the court will consider before granting the petition.
First, as a Shelby NC expungement lawyer might explain, the court will consider whether you meet the statutory requirements. Every expungement statute is a little different, however most require that a person not be convicted of multiple criminal charges. This means that if a person has pled guilty or been found guilty of a crime on one date, and then pleads guilty or is found guilty of a criminal charge on another date, they cannot get either of those charges expunged.
Second, the court will evaluate if you have been of good moral standing for the time period beginning with the completion of your case up to the time of the petition. Most petitions for expungement require that two affidavits be completed to establish this fact. The first affidavit, known as an affidavit of good character, must be completed by two persons who are not related to the petitioner by blood or by marriage but who have known the petitioner in the community and can attest that his character is good. The other petition, known as the affidavit of the petitioner, must be completed by the petitioner and he must attest that he has been of good moral character for the requisite time period and that he has not been convicted of any other crimes under the laws of North Carolina, under the laws of any other state, or under the laws of the United States. Those affidavits must be filed with the petition and will become part of the basis of the petition for expungement.
Third, the court will review the reports of both the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to see if there are any findings in those reports that would disqualify the petitioner for expungement. The SBI’s report is very extensive and will include any and all charges and/or convictions from North Carolina, charges and/or convictions from any other state, and charges and/or convictions for federal crimes. This report is used to determine whether a person has any other convictions that would make them not meet the statutory requirements. The AOC report is less extensive and simply includes references to any and all prior expungements the petitioner has received. The purpose of this report is to determine whether a prior expungement will preclude the petitioner from being eligible under the statute he is petitioning for expungement.
These three factors are key in the expungement proceedings and can determine whether or not a person will be granted an order for expunction.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Caulder & Valentine Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into key factors in an expungement proceeding.