North Carolina has unanimously passed new criminal justice reform laws as part of the Second Chance Act that grants additional expungement opportunities for people living in the state. With over 1.6 million NC residents having a background, these laws are crucial to decreasing recidivism, providing economic growth and promoting equal opportunity for gainful employment in our cities.
With three main points, the laws state that:
- Starting next year, if an individual is determined “not guilty” or charges have been dropped, their record will be automatically expunged without having to pay for an attorney.
- Last year, North Carolina became the last state to increase the juvenile age from 16 to 18 but neglected to update the records of those who had been effected prior to the law’s change. This update will expunge the records of those who were previously impacted.
- After seven years, individuals who do not re-offend may expunge non-violent misdemeanor convictions excluding DWI’s and other similar infractions.
A background can create a lifelong barrier to employment and economic stability that inhibits individuals, families and communities from thriving. While there is still more to be done to ensure that every person has access to satisfying employment, laws like those acknowledged in the Second Chance Act will allow for residents in the Cape Fear Region and beyond to rise above their past and reach their full potential.
Click here to learn more about the Second Chance Act.