Certificate of Relief

If your record cannot be cleared by an expungement, you may be eligible for alternative relief, such as a Certificate of Relief. These Certifications are deigned to allow individuals to qualify for certain occupations or professional licenses. A Certificate of Relief (N.C.G.S. 15A-173.1 through 15A-173.6) only applies in specific circumstances, and may only provide relief for some collateral consequences, so be aware of how such relief may directly benefit you.

Eligibility falls under N.C.G.S.15A-173.2. Requirements include: (1) no more than 2 Class G, H or I felonies or misdemeanor convictions in one court session; (2) no prior convictions (except traffic); (3) 12 months must have passed since the end of the defendants required punishment (probation, post-supervision-release, etc); (4) all of the requirements ordered as part of the conviction have been satisfied; (5) the defendant must be lawfully employed or seeking lawful employment; (6) granting the certificate would not pose an unreasonable risk to the safety or welfare of the public or an individual; (7) that no criminal charges are pending. The applicant must prove each of these requirements by a preponderance of the evidence. Any victims from the previous cases will be notified. of the application, and if

If the court denies the application, then you may reapply after 12 months. A new conviction (except traffic violations), or any misrepresentation during the application process, may result in the revocation of the Certification.

Unfortunately, the Certification will not expunge or pardon a conviction, nor relieve the individual of repercussions listed in N.C.G.S. 15A-173.3 (sex offender registration, bans on the possession of a firearm, drivers license penalties or revocations, etc.), or any effects from the State or Federal Constitution, or federal statutes. This includes the federal law disqualifying individuals with certain convictions from receiving housing or food assistance. N.C.G.S. 15A-173 clarifies the exclusions, and should be reviewed before application.

If you think a Certificate of Relief may be right for you, please call our attorneys at Garrett, Walker, Aycoth and Olson. We would love to discuss your eligibility, and would proud to assist you.

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