Bill Summaries: S562 (2019-2020 Session)

Tracking:
  • Summary date: Jul 10 2019 - View summary

    House committee substitute to the 3rd edition makes the following changes.

    Part I.

    Amends proposed GS 15A-145.8 to limit expunction eligibility to offenses committed prior to December 1, 2019, while the person was less than 18 years old, but at least 16 years old. Establishes that the victim has a right to be present at any hearing on the petition for expunction upon request and the victim's views and concerns must be considered by the court at the hearing. Makes conforming changes concerning the required findings by the court prior to entering an order. Also clarifies that the requirements that the person have completed any active sentence, period of probation, and post-release supervision, and have no outstanding restitution order or outstanding civil judgments, apply only to the offense eligible for expunction. Specifies that the clerk must forward the expunction order, rather than the petition, to the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). Makes organizational, technical, and clarifying changes. 

    Part II.

    Further amends GS 15A-151.5, concerning prosecutor access to expunged files, to allow for records of a criminal conviction expunged under subdivisions (1) through (7b) of subsection (a), as amended, on or after July 1, 2018, to be considered a prior conviction and used for the following purposes: (1) to calculate the prior record level and prior conviction level, if appropriate; (2) to serve as a basis for indictment for a habitual offense; (3) when a conviction of a prior offense raises the offense level of a subsequent offense; (4) to determine eligibility for relief under GS 90-96 (conditional discharge for first controlled substance offense); or (5) when permissible in a criminal case under the specified NC Rules of Evidence (previously, only provided for use to calculate prior record level, and did not extend to the newly added expunction records). Provides that the information maintained by AOC and made available under the statute, as amended, is prima facie evidence of the expunged conviction for the allowable purposes. Makes conforming technical changes. Provides that expungement of a conviction cannot serve as a basis to challenge a conviction or sentence entered before the expungement of that conviction. 

    Amends GS 15A-151 to allow AOC to disclose expungement files for expungements pursuant to new GS 15A-145.8 and GS 15A-146, as amended, upon request of State or local law enforcement, the NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission, and the NC Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission.

    Maintains the December 1, 2019, effective date for Part II of the act.

    Part III.

    Amends the proposed changes to GS 15A-146, regarding expunction of records when charges are dismissed or there are findings of not guilty. Concerning petitions for expungement involving multiple offenses, also allows the district attorney to petition the court, and no longer requires the court to hold a hearing when any charge resulted in a conviction on the day of dismissal or had not yet reached a final disposition. Consolidates the provisions concerning petitions for expunction for charges resulting in findings of not guilty. Excepts from the provisions regarding the effect of expunctions permissible evidentiary purposes in criminal cases, as specified in GS 15A-151.5(b)(5), as enacted. Makes organizational changes to the provisions concerning dismissals and findings of not guilty on or after July 1, 2020. Now provides for expunction by operation of law if any person is charged with a crime, either a misdemeanor or felony, or is charged with an infraction, and (1) all charges are disposed of on or after July 1, 2020, and (2) all charges in the case are dismissed without leave, dismissed by the court, or result in a finding of not guilty or not responsible (previously, excluded motor vehicle law violations). Eliminates the related procedural provisions, and instead direct the AOC to develop and have in place procedures to automate the expunction of records pursuant to subsection (a4), as amended, prior to July 1, 2020. Adds a new provision to authorize an arresting agency to maintain investigative records related to a charge that has been expunged pursuant to the statute, effective December 1, 2019. Makes further conforming and technical changes.

    Part IV. 

    Modifies the proposed changes to GS 15A-145.5, regarding expunction of certain misdemeanors and felonies. Concerning when the court can treat multiple nonviolent felonies and nonviolent misdemeanors as one conviction under the statute, no longer requires that the nonviolent felonies or nonviolent misdemeanors not to have been alleged to have occurred after the person had already been served with criminal process for the commission of a nonviolent felony or nonviolent misdemeanor. Modifies the petition process to now allow a person to petition the court for one or more nonviolent misdemeanor convictions or one nonviolent felony conviction (was, one or more nonviolent misdemeanor convictions or nonviolent felony convictions), according to the following time restrictions: (1) for expunction of one nonviolent felony misdemeanor, no earlier than the later of five years after the date of conviction or when any active sentence, period of probation, or post-release supervision has been served; (2) for expunction of more than one nonviolent misdemeanor, the later of seven years after the date of the person's last conviction other than a traffic offense not listed in the petition, or seven years after any active sentence, period of probation, or post-release supervision has been served; and (3) for expunction of one nonviolent felony, the later of 10 years after the date of the conviction or 10 years after any active sentence, period of probation, or post-release supervision has been served. Makes conforming changes. Adds that the victim has the right to be present at any hearing on the petition for expunction upon request, and the victim's views and concerns must be considered by the court at the hearing. Makes organizational and clarifying changes to the required findings of the court prior to entering an order under the statute. Concerning findings required for expunction of one or more nonviolent misdemeanors, requires the petitioner to have no convictions for any other felony or misdemeanor, other than a traffic offense, for one nonviolent misdemeanor petition, or for more than one nonviolent misdemeanor, no convictions for a misdemeanor or a felony listed as an exception to the terms "nonviolent misdemeanor" or "nonviolent felony" under the statute. 

    Part V.

    Changes the effective date of the act to the date the act becomes law (was, December 1, 2019).


  • Summary date: May 8 2019 - View summary

    Senate amendment #1 makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.

    Part III. 

    Modifies the proposed changes to GS 15A-146, regarding expunction of records when charges are dismissed or there are findings of not guilty, as follows. Eliminates part of the proposed changes to subsections (a) and (c) to maintain existing law, limiting petitions for expunction of charges dismissed or findings of not guilty entered to persons charged with either a misdemeanor or felony, or charged with an infraction under GS 18B-302(i) prior to December 1, 1999 (was, either a misdemeanor or felony, or charged with an infraction; GS 18B-302(i) concerns underage purchase or consumption of alcohol by 19- and 20-year-olds, a Class 3 misdemeanor). Additionally, modifies proposed subsections (a4) and (a5) regarding dismissals or findings of not guilty entered on or after July 1, 2020, to limit their scope to any misdemeanor or felony charge, and excludes any violations of motor vehicle laws (previously included any misdemeanor, felony, or infraction).


  • Summary date: May 2 2019 - View summary

    Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

    Part I.

    Makes the following changes to proposed GS 15A-145.8. Now allows a person or the district attorney (DA) to file a petition for expunction of any Class H or I felony or misdemeanor conviction if the offense was committed while the person was less than 18 but older than 16 years old (previously did not allow DAs to petition). Explicitly prohibits filing a petition until any active sentence, probation period, or post-release supervision has been completed and the person has no outstanding restituition orders or related civil judgments. Specifies that any motor vehicle law violation and any offense requiring registration as a sex offender are ineligible for expunction under the statute (previously excluded traffic offenses, impaired driving offenses, and offenses requiring registration as a sex offender). Adds notice and service requirements of the petition to the DA of the court where the case resulting in the conviction was tried (if the petition was not filed by the DA). Upon service, allows the DA to object to the petition. Requires the DA to make best efforts to notify the victim of the expunction request prior to the hearing. Eliminates the provision that prohibits collection of a fee for the filing of a petition under this section and precludes a petitioner from having to pay costs of expunction. Instead establishes a $175 filing fee and directs clerks to remit $122.50 of each fee to the Department of Public Safety for associated criminal records check costs and $52.50 of each fee retained by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to pay petititon processing costs. Exempts indigents from the new fee provisions. Makes technical and organizational changes. 

    Part III

    Makes clarifying and technical changes to the proposed changes GS 15A-146 regarding expunction of records when charges are dismissed or there are findings of not guilty. Now refers to district attorneys rather than prosecutors who may petition the court for expunction of either, in addition to the individual charged. Concerning multiple charges and dismissals or findings of not guilty, requires the court to hold a hearing to determine if the records of any charges not dismissed retain evidenciary value. Requires a hearing in cases of multiple charges and dismissals when a charge resulted in a conviction on the same day of dismissal. Subsequent to the hearing and the court finding that all related charges have reached a final disposition, allows the court to order the expunction of any charge that was dismissed (previously generally required the court to hold a hearing if the court finds that not all charges were dismissed and authorized the court to order the expunction of any of the dismissed charges). Makes similar changes concerning multiple charges and findings of not guilty to require a determination that all related criminal charges have reached final disposition before the court can order expunction. Changes the date upon which dismissals and findings of not guilty are expunged by operation of law to now apply the provisions to dismissals and findings of not guilty on or after July 1, 2020 (was December 1, 2019). Requires the DA who filed the dismissal or judicial officer who ordered the dismissal to provide notice of the dismissal to the clerk for dismissal on or after July 1, 2020 (previously also included notice of the expunction). Makes conforming changes.

    Part IV

    Modifies the proposed changes to GS 15A-145.5 concerning expunction of nonviolent misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies. Clarifies that convictions of felonies listed as an exception to the term nonviolent felony under the act make a person ineligible for expunction petitions under the statute. Clarifies that the court must find that the petition has not previously been granted an expunction of a nonviolent felony under the statute, among other required findings, prior to entering an order under the statute (previosuly required a finding that the person had not been granted an expunction during the applicable five or ten-year waiting periods). Amends the proposed provisions regarding petitions for expunction of one or more nonviolent misdemeanor convictions that allowed for certain expunctions after a seven-year waiting period to allow, rather than require, the court to grant the expunction when the specified requirements are met. Adds that if the court denies the petition, the order must include a finding as to the reason for the denial.


  • Summary date: Apr 8 2019 - View summary

    Part I

    Amends GS Chapter 15A, Article 5 (expunction of records), by enacting new GS 15A-145.8 allowing expunction of records for offenders under the age of 18 at the time of conviction of certain misdemeanors and felonies.  Describes procedure for filing a petition for expunction after completion of sentence, period of probation, and payment of any restitution ordered.  Requires a court, after a hearing and upon finding certain facts, to restore the petitioner to their pre-conviction status.  Allows for expunction of multiple convictions.  Excludes expunction eligibility for impaired driving offenses as well as any offenses requiring sex offender registration.  Describes effect of expungement as allowing a successful petitioner to not be held liable for perjury or giving a false statement for failing to recite or acknowledge the existence of the related arrest, indictment, or trial.  Requires a court to order expunction from law enforcement and state agencies identified by the petitioner as having a record of the conviction(s).  Prohibits collection of a fee for the filing of a petition under this section and precludes a petitioner from having to pay costs of expunction.  Applies to offenses committed on or before December 1, 2019.

    Part II

    Amends GS 15A-151.5 (prosecutor access to expunged files), subsection (a), by adding new subdivision (7a) listing expunction of records pursuant to GS 15A-145.8 in the list of expunction statutes under which the Administrative Office of the Courts must maintain files for prosecutor access. Effective December 1, 2019.

    Part III

    Amends GS 15A-146 to permit any person charged with a crime or infraction dismissed prior to December 1, 2019, or prosecutor, to petition the court for expunction. Removes the hearing requirement. Requires the court to order the expunction upon finding the charge was dismissed. Concerning multiple charges, requires the court to hold a hearing upon finding that all of the charges were not dismissed, and permits the court to order the expunction of any of the dismissed charges.  Provides for identical changes regarding petitions concerning charges or infractions that resulted in findings of not guilty or not responsible prior to December 1, 2019. Provides for automatic expunction by operation of law for criminal charges or infractions dismissed by automatic court order for crimes or infractions resulting in a finding of not guilty or not responsible entered, on or after December 1, 2019. Provides for partial expunction orders concerning multiple offenses. Authorizes a court to grant a petition for expunction without a hearing. Clarifies the effect of expunction. Makes further conforming changes.

    Effective December 1, 2019, and applies to petitions filed on or after that date.

    Amends GS 15A-150 to require the clerk to send a certified copy of an expunction order to the person granted the expunction unless the expunction was granted pursuant to new subsections (a4) and (a5) of GS 15A-146 (providing for automatic expunction without petitioning).

    Directs the Department of Public Safety (DPS) in conjunction with the Department of Justice and the Administrative Office of the Courts, by February 1, 2020, to jointly develop and submit a report to the specified NCGA committee on recommendations and associated costs to automate the expunction process for all State agencies with records subject to orders and ensure efficacy of the expunction. 

    Effective December 1, 2019.

    Part IV

    Amends GS 15A-145.5 concerning expunction of nonviolent misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies, as defined. Now allows a person to petition a court for expunction of one ore more nonviolent misdemeanor or nonviolent felony convictions from the person's criminal record if the person has not previously been convicted of a Class A1 misdemeanor offense or a felony offense that is not considered a nonviolent felony (was a petition for a nonviolent misdemeanor or nonviolent felony conviction if the person has no other misdemeanor or felony convictions other than a traffic violation). Allows for a petition for expunction of one or more nonviolent felony convictions to be filed no earlier than 10 years after the later of the date of the last conviction for a nonviolent felony or nonviolent misdemeanor, other than a traffic offense, or when any active sentence, period of probation, and post-release supervision has been served (previously a 10-year waiting period for nonviolent felony expunction petition did not include dating from the last conviction of a nonviolent misdemeanor). Allows for the petition for expunction of one or more nonviolent misdemeanor convictions to be filed no earlier than five years after the later of the date of the last conviction for a nonviolent felony or nonviolent misdemeanor, other than a traffic offense, or when any active sentence, period of probation, and post-release supervision has been served (previously the five-year waiting period for nonviolent misdemeanors did not include dating from the last conviction of a nonviolent felony). Makes conforming changes to the petition requirements. Allows for the expunction of one or more nonviolent misdemeanor convictions upon satisfying the required findings if the petition was filed no earlier than seven years after the later of the date of the petitioner's last conviction for a nonviolent felony or nonviolent misdemeanor, other than a traffic offense, or when any active sentence, period of probation, and post-release supervision has been served. Makes further clarifying, conforming, and technical changes.

    Applies to petitions filed on or after December 1, 2019.

    Part V

    Provides that the act is effective December 1, 2019, unless otherwise provided.