EXPUNCTIONS (Clearing Your Criminal Record)

It is possible for some people in North Carolina to clean up their records through a process called Expunction.  Unfortunately, at this point in time, opportunities to expunge a criminal record in North Carolina are relatively rare.

Please be aware that there are many private attorneys who offer expunction services. Because of the limitations of the laws currently on the books, a private attorney will not be able to do anything that you and a volunteer advocate can't do, except charge a great deal of money!  

Legal Aid of North Carolina also assists low-income residents with determining whether they are eligible for expunctions. They periodically offer expunction clinics. Call their helpline at: 866.219.5262.

Here, you'll find more information about Expunction law in North Carolina.

Certificates of Relief

Individuals with certain criminal convictions may now apply for a “Certificate of Relief” from collateral consequences. The certificate is especially valuable for individuals automatically barred from certain occupational licensures based on their criminal convictions. Obtaining a certificate of relief overcomes such automatic bars; moreover, a certificate of relief is considered in situations where occupational licensing agencies are allowed the discretion to deny a license based on a criminal conviction. A certificate of relief does not result in an expunction or pardon of the conviction. Importantly, an employer who hires an individual with a criminal record is protected against claims of negligent hiring.

The basic requirements of gaining the certificate are as follows:

the person must have been convicted of no more than two Class G, H, or I felonies or misdemeanors in one session of court and have no other convictions,
twelve months have passed since the person completed his or her sentence,
the person is engaged in or is seeking to engage in a lawful occupation or activity,
the person has no criminal charges pending,
the person has complied with all requirements of the person’s sentence,
granting the petition would not pose an unreasonable risk to the safety or welfare of the public.


As you are starting your job search, take the mindset that you are solving a problem for an employer. The employer has work that needs doing and they need a great employee who can get the job done with a minimum of drama and a lot of professionalism. 

Here are two Selling Points for employers Hiring YOU that you need to know about...

The Federal Bonding Program……………………………………………………….1-877-872-5627
A service provided by the US Dept. of Labor for people with criminal records and at-risk job applicants. The Federal bonding program the new employee for up to 6 months at no cost to the employee or employer; call the number provided for more information. You do not need to be a federal inmate to receive bonding.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit ...............................................................................919-814-0439 or virginia.terrell@nccommerce.com

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit encourages employers to hire individuals who are qualified for open positions but face barriers to employment. Businesses can receive a one-time tax credit of $2,400-$9,600 for hiring a qualified job applicant with a criminal record. The amount varies, depending on the hire. Many employers don't know about this tax credit, so make a potential employer aware of it in your cover letter or interview. In North Carolina, the N.C. Division of Workforce Solutions accepts applications for the tax credit.