Bill Summary for H 874 (2019-2020)

Summary date: 

Apr 17 2019

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 874 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 16, 2019
AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS REVISIONS TO THE EXPUNCTION LAWS OF THIS STATE.
Intro. by Morey, Hardister, Clemmons.

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Bill summary

Identical to S 562, filed 4/2/19.

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 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 that is 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 infraction dismissed or by automatic court order for crimes or infractions resulting in a funding 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 persons 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. 

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