Guilford and Randolph County criminal record relief procedures must be careful pursued.
In addition to expunctions, an individual may wish to pursue other alternatives to clear their record. One such alternative is a Certificate of relief from collateral consequences of a criminal conviction. Certificates of relief (N.C.G.S. 15A-173.1 through 15A-173.6) apply in specific circumstances, and only provide relief for some collateral consequences.
The requirements are found in 15A-173.2: no more than 2 Class G, H or I felonies or misdemeanor convictions in one court session; no prior convictions (except traffic); 12 months must have passed since the end of the defendants required punishment (probation, post-supervision-release, etc); all of the requirements ordered as part of the conviction have been satisfied; the defendant must be lawfully employed or seeking lawful employment; granting the certificate would not pose an unreasonable risk to the safety or welfare of the public or an individual; that no criminal charges are pending. The applicant must prove the above by a preponderance of the evidence. The District Attorney will notify victims of the application, and if denied, the petitioner may re-apply after 12 months. Misrepresentations in the application, or new convictions, except traffic violations, may result in the revocation of the Certification.
The Certification will not expunge or pardon a conviction, nor relieve the individual of repercussions listed in 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. 15A-173 clarifies the exclusions, and should be reviewed before application.
The Certifications are meant to allow individuals to qualify for occupations or professional licenses formally barred by their conviction(s). The problem is the law does not go far enough to “guarantee” relief – the certifying board or employer may act in their discretion and deny the applicant, in spite of the Certificate of Relief. If eligible, an expunction is always preferable.
If you need a relief from a criminal record in Greensboro, Asheboro or High Point, contact the attorneys at Garrett, Walker, Aycoth and Olson today! We are here to help!