Bill Summaries: S301 EXPAND EXPUNCTION ELIGIBILITY.

Tracking:
  • Summary date: Aug 26 2021 - More information

    AN ACT TO ALLOW FOR THE EXPUNCTION OF UP TO THREE NONVIOLENT FELONIES, TO EXPAND THE DEFINITION FOR THE TERM "NONVIOLENT FELONY," TO ALLOW THE PUBLIC DEFENDER OR PRIVATE COUNSEL TO FILE A PETITION FOR EXPUNCTION ON BEHALF OF A PERSON ELIGIBLE TO EXPUNGE CERTAIN OFFENSES COMMITTED UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN, AND TO ALLOW ACCESS TO EXPUNCTION RECORDS FOR DETERMINING CONDITIONAL DISCHARGE ELIGIBILITY. SL 2021-118. Enacted Aug. 26, 2021. Effective Dec. 1, 2021.


  • Summary date: Jul 14 2021 - More information

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

    Modifies the proposed changes to GS 15A-145.5, concerning the expunction of certain misdemeanors and felonies, as follows.

    Further amends subsection (c), detailing qualification to petition under the statute. Now allows for a person to file a petition for expunction of two or three nonviolent felonies (was, only two nonviolent felonies) the later of 20 years after the date of the most recent conviction listed in the petition, or 20 years after any active sentence, period of probation, or post-release supervision, related to a conviction listed in the petition, has been served. Makes organizational and clarifying changes to subsection (c). Further adds to subsection (c) that a person previously granted an expunction under the statute for one or more misdemeanors is not eligible for expunction of additional misdemeanors under the statute, and a person previously granted an expunction under the statute for one or more felonies is not eligible for expunction of additional felonies under the statute, except as provided in new subsections (c4) and (c5). Makes conforming changes throughout to reflect the ability to petition to expunge up to three felonies.

    Adds to the required content of a petition, set forth in subsection (c1): (1) an affidavit by the petitioner providing information on any additional petitions submitted or that the petitioner intends to submit in other counties pursuant to new subsection (c4) seeking expunction of additional convictions; and (2) an acknowledgement by the petitioner that the expunction of one nonviolent misdemeanor prior to the seven-year waiting period or one nonviolent felony prior to the 20-year waiting period will preclude the petitioner from expunging additional nonviolent misdemeanors or nonviolent felonies that might otherwise be eligible under subsection (c), except as provided in new subsection (c5). 

    Revises the required findings for a court to order expunction of one or more nonviolent misdemeanors pursuant to subsection (c2) to require finding either, among the other seven required findings, (1) that the petitioner has not previously been granted an expunction under the statute for one or more nonviolent misdemeanors, or (2) any previous expunction granted to the petitioner under the statute for one or more nonviolent misdemeanors was granted pursuant to a petition filed prior to December 31, 2021 (previously, required finding that the petitioner had not been granted an expunction under the statute prior to the date of any offense the current petition requests be expunged). 

    Further amends the required findings for a court to order expunction of one or up to three nonviolent felonies pursuant to subsection (c3) to require finding either, among the other required findings, (1) that the petitioner has not previously been granted an expunction under the statute for one or more nonviolent felonies, or (2) any previous expunction granted to the petitioner under the statute for a felony was granted pursuant to a petition filed prior to December 31, 2021 (previously, required finding that the petitioner had not been granted an expunction under the statute prior to the date of any offense the current petition requests be expunged). Distinguishes required findings for petitions for the expunction of one felony and petitions for the expunction of two or three felonies, providing for the 10- and 20-year waiting periods applicable pursuant to subsection (c). Makes the required findings for petitions for the expunction of two or three felonies applicable for when the petitioner has filed petitions in more than one county pursuant to new subsection (c4), including that the felony offenses must have been committed within the same 24-month period. 

    Enacts new subsection (c4) to require filing in each county where the convictions were obtained in more than one county for petitions for expunctions of more than one nonviolent misdemeanor under (c)(1)b. or two or three nonviolent felonies under (c)(2)b. Requires filing within a 30-day period and provides that the granting of one petition does not preclude the granting of any other petition filed within the same 30-day period. 

    Enacts new subsection (c5) to allow a person granted an expunction under the statute for one or more nonviolent misdemeanors pursuant to a petition filed prior to December 1, 2021, to petition for expunction of additional nonviolent misdemeanors if the offenses were committed prior to the date of the previous expunction. Enacts a substantively identical provision allowing a person granted an expunction under the statute for a nonviolent felony pursuant to a petition filed prior to December 1, 2021, to petition for expunction of up to two additional nonviolent felonies if the offenses were committed prior to the date of the previous expunction and within the same 24-month period as the previously expunged felony. 

    Amends GS 15A-151(a), adding a new subdivision allowing the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to disclose information in a confidential file for granted expungements under the Article for disclosure of records of previously dismissal pursuant to conditional discharge, upon joint request of the district attorney and the defendant in a pending proceeding for the purpose of determining eligibility for a conditional discharge. Requires delivery to the clerk of superior court where the matter is pending, who must then provide a copy to the district attorney and to the defendant. Requires the clerk to maintain the information as confidential record in the court file for the case.

    Amends GS 15A-151.5 to require AOC to make all records of dismissals pursuant to conditional discharge maintained under GS 15A-151 electronically available to all prosecutors of the State. 

    Makes technical changes to the act's effective date provisions. Changes the act's long title. 


  • Summary date: Mar 30 2021 - More information

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

    Amends the proposed changes to GS 15A-145.8A, expanding upon who may file a petition for expunction from the person's criminal record persons convicted of any misdemeanor or Class H or I felony that was not excluded under the statute, that was committed prior to December 1, 2019, and while the person was less than 18 years of age, but at least 16 years of age. Allows the petition to be filed by a person, the district attorney, or at the request of the person eligible for expunction under the statute, an attorney (was, the public defender or private counsel at the request of a person eligible for expunction under the statute; current law is limited to the person or the district attorney). 


  • Summary date: Mar 23 2021 - More information

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

    Modifies the proposed changes to GS 15A-145.5, concerning the expunction of certain misdemeanors and felonies, as follows. For the purposes of the statute, no longer excludes from the definition of nonviolent misdemeanor or nonviolent felony an offense under GS 14-56 (breaking or entering into or breaking out of railroad cars, motor vehicles, trailers, aircraft, boats, or other watercraft) (totally excluded by existing language and previously proposed to limit the exclusion for a certain period of time). Adds a new subsection to the statute to explicitly bar impaired driving offenses, as defined in GS 20-4.01(24a) from expunction eligibility; makes conforming deletion of the provision excluding the same from the term nonviolent misdemeanor or nonviolent felony. Makes clarifying changes to the applicable waiting periods for filing a petition to refer to convictions listed in the petition. Makes further conforming changes regarding affidavits filed with the petition to refer to the applicable waiting periods as amended by the act.

    Amends the proposed changes to GS 15A-145.8A, expanding upon who may file a petition for expunction from the person's criminal record persons convicted of any misdemeanor or Class H or I felony that was not excluded under the statute, that was committed prior to December 1, 2019, and while the person was less than 18 years of age, but at least 16 years of age. Allows the petition to be filed by a person, the district attorney, and at the request of the person eligible for expunction under the statute, the public defender or private counsel (was a person eligible for expunction under the statute or, at the request of the person eligible for expunction, the district attorney, the public defender, or private counsel).


  • Summary date: Mar 15 2021 - More information

    Amends GS 15A-145.5, concerning the expunction of certain misdemeanors and felonies, as follows. For the purposes of the statute, excludes from the definition of nonviolent misdemeanor or nonviolent felony an offense under GS 14-56 (breaking or entering into or breaking out of railroad cars, motor vehicles, trailers, aircraft, boats, or other watercraft), unless 20 years have passed from the later of (1) the date of conviction or (2) the date when any active sentence, period of probation, or post-release supervision has been served (was, offense under GS 14-56 no matter how much time had passed). Allows a person to petition for expunction of one or more nonviolent misdemeanor convictions or up to two (was, one) nonviolent felony convictions from the person's criminal record. Requires a petition for expunction of two nonviolent felonies to be filed no earlier than 20 years after the date of the person's last conviction, other than a traffic offense not listed in the petition for expunction, or 20 years after any active sentence, period of probation, or post-release supervision has been served, whichever occurs later. Amends the eight findings that must be made before a court that is hearing a petition for expunction may order that the petitioner be restored, to (1) require that the petitioner have no misdemeanor convictions, other than a traffic violation not listed in the petition for expunction, in the five years preceding the petition, and no other felony convictions not listed in the petition during the applicable 10-year or 20-year waiting period; (2) adds that for a petition for expunction of two nonviolent felonies, the two nonviolent felony convictions were obtained within the same 24-month period. Makes additional conforming changes.

    Amends GS 15A-145.8A to expand upon who may file a petition for expunction from the person's criminal record, persons convicted of any misdemeanor or Class H or I felony that was not excluded under the statute, that was committed prior to December 1, 2019, and while the person was less than 18 years of age, but at least 16 years of age, to allow the petition to be filed by a person eligible for expunction under the statute or, at the request of the person eligible for expunction, the district attorney, the public defender, or private counsel (was, the person or district attorney could make file the petition). 

    Effective December 1, 2021, and applies to petitions filed on or after that date.


© 2021 School of Government The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This work is copyrighted and subject to "fair use" as permitted by federal copyright law. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the express written permission of the publisher. Distribution by third parties is prohibited. Prohibited distribution includes, but is not limited to, posting, e-mailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, installing on intranets or servers, and redistributing via a computer network or in printed form. Unauthorized use or reproduction may result in legal action against the unauthorized user.

Printer-friendly: Click to view