If a person is charged with a crime in North Carolina and the charge is dismissed or a finding of not guilty is entered, that person may apply to the court in the county where the charge was brought for an order to expunge from all official public records any entries related to his/her apprehension or trial, pursuant to N.C.G.S. 15A 145-146. A crime is either a misdemeanor or felony. Most traffic violations are infractions and do not qualify for Expungement.
To obtain an Expungement in Wake County, you are required to submit the following forms to the Wake County Expungement Clerk:
- A Motion for Expungement of Criminal Record
- An Expungement Order
- An AOC-CR-237 Request and Reports Conviction/Expunctions Dismissal and Discharge Form
The fee has been eliminated for most Expungements. 3-4-2005
After the Expungement Clerk receives the Expungement paperwork, the Clerk will send it to the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) for an extensive criminal record check in all 100 counties. The paperwork will then be sent to the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to verify that an Expungement was not done previously. Then, if the court verifies that you have not previously received an Expungement under N.C.G.S. 15A-145, 15A 146 or N.C.G.S. 90-96, and you have not previously been convicted of any felony or misdemeanors, other than a traffic violation, under the laws of the United States, North Carolina or any other state, a Wake County District Court Judge will sign an order directing that all public entries related to the expunged offense be purged from the public records of the court, and direct that all law enforcement agencies bearing record of the same expunge their public records. The Expungement Clerk will forward a certified copy of the Expungement Order to the Sheriff, Chief of Police, or other arresting agency. The head of the arresting agency shall transmit a copy of the Expungement Order to the State Bureau of Investigation, and they will forward a copy to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. For purposes of Federal records, such as the FBI, the Expungement only relates to state public records.
Once an Order of Expungement has been issued, all official records relating to the expunged offense should be purged, except for a confidential file that is to be retained by the AOC. The information contained in this file shall be disclosed only to Judges of the General Court of Justice in North Carolina for the purpose of ascertaining whether any person charged with an offense has been previously granted an Expungement.
You can get the forms you need at the local expungement clerk's office.