Bill Summary for H 1115 (2015-2016)

Summary date: 

May 11 2016

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
House Bill 1115 (Public) Filed Tuesday, May 10, 2016
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE AUTOMATIC EXPUNCTION OF A PERSON'S RECORD IF THE PERSON IS WRONGLY CONVICTED, INCARCERATED, AND LATER CLEARED OF THE CHARGE OR IF THE CHARGES AGAINST A PERSON ARE DISMISSED OR THERE ARE FINDINGS OF NOT GUILTY AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE COURTS TO HELP IMPLEMENT THIS ACT.
Intro. by Hanes, Bryan.

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Bill summary

Enacts GS 15A-149A to establish that, if any person is wrongly convicted and incarcerated, but later is discharged from prison as a result of a successful appeal, motion for appropriate relief, or writ of habeas corpus, the reviewing court that determined the person was wrongfully convicted and ordered the person be discharged from prison must also enter an order to expunge from all official records any entries relating to the person's apprehension, charge, or trial as provided by the statute.

Establishes that, if any person is wrongly convicted and incarcerated, but later is discharged from prison as a result of a determination by the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission that the person is innocent, the three-judge panel that determined the person's innocence and entered the dismissal of the charges must also enter an order to expunge from all official records any entries relating to the person's apprehension, charge, or trial as provided by the statute.

Requires the order of expunction to include an instruction that any entries relating to the person's apprehension, charge, or trial must be expunged from the records of the court and direct all law enforcement agencies, the Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety, the Division of Motor Vehicles, or any other State or local government agencies identified by the petitioner as bearing record of the same to expunge their records of the entries. Directs that the clerk notify state and local agencies of the court's order as provided in GS 15A-150 (concerning notification requirements of the clerk for expunction of records). Provides that the expunction is to be automatic and the person is not required to file a petition for the expunction. Provides that the costs of expunging the records, as required under GS 15A-150, are not to be taxed against the petitioner.

Establishes that no person as to whom on order, pursuant to GS 15A-149A, has been entered into can be held thereafter under any provision of any law to be guilty of perjury, or to be guilty of otherwise giving a false statement or response to any inquiry made for any purpose, by reason of the person's failure to recite or acknowledge any expunged entries concerning apprehension, charge, or trial.

Amends GS 15A-146, concerning the expunction of records when charges are dismissed or there are findings of not guilty, by providing that, if any person is charged with a crime, either a misdemeanor or a felony, or was charged with an infraction under GS 18B-302(i) prior to December 1, 1999, and the charge is dismissed, or a finding of not guilty or not responsible is entered, the court entering the dismissal, or finding of not guilty or not responsible must also enter (currently, that person may apply to the court of the county where the charge was brought for) an order to expunge from all official records any entries relating to the person's apprehension or trial. Eliminates current requirement of the court to hold a hearing on the person's application and order of expunction upon findings as specified in GS 15A-146(a). Makes clarifying changes.

Eliminates GS 15A-146(a1), which allowed a person charged with multiple offenses, where all charges are dismissed or findings of not guilty or not responsible are made, to apply to have each of the charges expunged if the offenses occurred within the same 12-month period of time or the charges are dismissed or findings are made at the same court, and requiring a court to hold a hearing on the person's application and order of expunction upon findings as specified in the subsection.

Amends GS 15A-146(b) to require the court (currently, allows the court) to order that the entries, including civil revocations of driver's licenses as a result of the underlying charge, be expunged from the records of the court, in addition to other existing, specified directives.

Amends GS 15A-146(b1) to require the court to enter an order to expunge the DNA record and DNA sample when a person entitled to expungement under the statute has his or her case dismissed by the trial court (currently, subsection allows any person entitled to expungement under the statute to apply to the court for an order expunging DNA records when the person's case has been dismissed by the trial court) and the person's DNA record or profile has been included in the State DNA Database and the person's DNA sample is stored in the State DNA Databank. Eliminates the requirement for a copy of the application for expungement of the DNA record or the DNA sample to be served on the district attorney for the district where the felony charges are brought and the requirement for a certified copy of the trial court's order dismissing the charges to be attached to an order of expungment.

Amends GS 15A-146(d) to direct the court to automatically enter an order for expunction under the statute for a person charged with a crime that is dismissed pursuant to compliance with a deferred prosecution agreement or the terms of a conditional discharge. Eliminates the language concerning a person filing a petition for expunction and associated fees charged.

Enacts GS 15A-146(e) to provide that, notwithstanding any other provision of the statute, the arrest records of a person charged with any of the specified offenses will not be expunged even though the case may be dismissed or a finding of not guilty or not responsible is entered on behalf of the defendant. Specifies that the offenses that bar expunction are an offense under Article 7B of GS Chapter 14 (rape and other sex offenses) or an offense under GS 50B-4.1(d) (knowingly committing a felony prohibited by a valid protective order).

The above provisions are effective December 1, 2016.

Appropriates $10,000 from the General Fund to the Judicial Department to be allocated to the Administrative Office of the Courts to assist with the cost of implementing the act. Effective July 1. 2016.

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