NC Senator Kevin Corbin’s co-sponsored Senate Bill 301 was signed by Governor Roy Cooper last week, and will allow more offenses to be removed from a person’s state criminal record.
“This allows those who have committed non-violent offences to have their families' records wiped. Sen. Corbin stated, "It's the correct thing to do." “I know a 40-year-old man who committed a non-violent criminal when he was 17 years old and still has a felony on his record. He is now the father of two children, a deacon in his church, and a well-respected member of the community. People like these are the ones who deserve a second opportunity. It's the proper thing to do.”
Once 20 years have gone since a person's conviction or sentence completion, the new statute allows them to ask the court to have a second or third nonviolent felony removed from their record within 24 months.
With some restrictions, the state's existing statute enables anyone to seek expungement for more than one nonviolent misdemeanour or nonviolent felony.
The new law changes the categorization of car burglary from a violent felony to a nonviolent felony, making it eligible for expungement and removing some of the obstacles. It further specifies that if petitions are filed within a 30-day period, charges can be erased in multiple counties.
This month, both chambers of the General Assembly unanimously adopted the bill.
In a statement, Cooper said, "This law makes it simpler for those persons who have done time for non-violent crimes to re-enter society and have a fresh start in life."