Restoration of Firearm Rights

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Firearm RightsBoth federal and state laws impose firearm bans following felony convictions.  Our state law,NCGS 14-415.1, bans any person convicted of a felony from purchasing, owning, or possessing any firearm.  However, a convicted felon may petition for restoration of firearm rights in North Carolina if that person meets the following statutory requirements:

  • No other felony convictions;
  • No misdemeanor convictions involving crimes of violence;
  • Resident of North Carolina for at least one year immediately preceding the filing of the petition;
  • Restoration of citizenship rights for at least 20 years prior to the filing of the petition;

In addition to meeting the above criteria, the applicant must not be disqualified under any of the provisions listed in NCGS 14-415.4(c).

Examples of these disqualifying provisions include:

  • Drug/alcohol addiction
  • Dishonorable discharge from the military
  • Being subject to a 50B or 50C restraining order

Keep in mind that the restoration of firearm rights is not an expungement, so the felony conviction will still remain on your record.  For more information on expungements and the restoration of firearm rights following a felony conviction, call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC today at (919) 948-7159.

Restoration of Citizenship Rights Following a Felony Conviction

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Citizenship RightsCitizenship Rights Post Felony Conviction

As many people know, a convicted felon is barred from exercising various citizenship rights, including the right to vote, the right to hold public office, and the right to sit on a jury.  However, what most people do not know is that these citizenship rights are usually automatically restored upon the completion of a person’s felony sentence.

Citizenship Law

Pursuant to Chapter 13 of the N.C. General Statutes, a person convicted of a felony in North Carolina shall automatically have these citizenship rights restored upon the completion of his or her entire felony sentence, including period of incarnation, parole/post-release supervision, and probation.  For felony convictions outside of North Carolina’s jurisdiction, the restoration process is not automatic.  Instead, an application must be submitted to the clerk of court in the person’s county of residence before a certificate evidencing citizenship rights restoration can be issued.

What are the Next Steps?

Completion of a felony sentence and restoration of citizenship rights is not an expungement, so the conviction will still remain on your record.  Furthermore, restoration of citizenship rights does not restore other important rights lost as the result of a felony conviction, such as the loss of firearm rights.

Contact an North Carolina Expungement Attorney Today

For more information on expungements and the restoration of rights following a felony conviction, call an expungement lawyer at The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC today at (919) 948-7159(919) 948-7159.

Larceny: Retail Theft and Possession of Stolen Goods

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LarcenyIn accordance with the North Carolina General Statute 14-72.11, a person is guilty of a Class H felony if the person commits larceny against a merchant under any of the following circumstances:


  • Using an exit door upon which door has been placed a notice, sign, or poster providing information about the felony offense and punishment provided
  • Removing, destroying, or deactivating a component of an antishoplifting or inventory control device to prevent its activation
  • Affixing a product code created for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining goods or merchandise from a merchant at less than its actual sale price

Additionally, a person can be found guilty of the Class H felony organized retail theft if the person:

  1. Conspires with another person to commit theft of retail property from retail establishments in which:
    1. The property is collected over a 90-day period
    2. With the intent to sell that retail property for monetary or other gain


  1. Receives or possesses any retail property that has been taken or stolen in violation ofsubdivision (1)

Lastly, according to NCGS 14-71.1, if any person shall possess any movable personal articles, property, money, valuable security or other thing whatsoever, the stealing or taking whereof amounts to larceny or a felony.  Any person knowing or having reasonable grounds to believe the articles in their possession to have been stolen or taken, he or she shall be guilty of a Class H felony, and may be indicted and convicted. (Even if the felon who has stolen or taken such property has or has not been previously convicted or come to justice.)  Any such possessor may be dealt with, indicted, tried and punished as one convicted of larceny.

For more information on Larceny, Retail Theft, or Possession of Stolen Goods, call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC today at (919) 948-7159.

Transporting an Open Container of Alcoholic Beverage

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Open ContainerPer North Carolina General Statute 20-138.7(a), no person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway or the right-of-way of a highway: (1) while there is an alcoholic beverage in the passenger area in other than the unopened manufacturer’s original container; and (2) while the driver is consuming alcohol or while alcohol remains in the driver’s body.

Any container in which the seal has been broken is defined as an open container.  A passenger area is considered any area within reach of a seated driver or passenger.  This includes the glove compartment.  The trunk and behind the back seat is not considered the passenger area and is out of reach of the driver and the passenger.

The driver will not be in violation of Transporting an Open Container of Alcoholic Beverage unless he has consumed alcohol.  Only the person who possesses or consumes an alcoholic beverage will be in violation and shall be charged.  The odor of an alcoholic beverage on the breath of the driver is not enough evidence to prove that alcohol has been consumed.

Transporting an Open Container of Alcoholic Beverage is an infraction, and is not considered a moving violation for DMV purposes. The first offense is of Transporting an Open Container of Alcohol is considered a Class 3 misdemeanor; the second offense is considered a Class 2 misdemeanor.  If a Transporting an Open Container of Alcoholic Beverage charge is associated with a Driving While Impaired charge, the punishment shall not exceed the maximum.

For more information on Transporting an Open Container of Alcoholic Beverage call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC today at (919) 948-7159.

New Changes to North Carolina Expungement Law

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The Legislature amended G.S. 15A-145.5 (expunction of certain misdemeanors and felonies; no age limitatiExpungementon) and adds to the list of offenses that are not considered a “nonviolent misdemeanor” or “nonviolent felont”: felony breaking or entering, breaking or entering with intent to terrorize, breakning or entering motor vehicle and any offense that is an attempt to commit an offense described in G.S. 15A-145.5(a) (1) through (8). This change applies to petitions filed before that date are not affected by the change.

So the Legislature has just eliminated Felony Breaking & Entering and a few variations from the list of crimes that are eligible for an expungement after 15 years have passed and nothing else on your record.

If you are interested in an expungement please contact North Carolina expungement lawyer Wiley Nickel at 919-948-7159 for a free consultation.

Many people are eligible for an expungement and may not know that the Legislature has a mechanism whereby they can remove a criminal conviction from their record. The 15 year expungement described above applies to people convicted of a non-violent low level felony or misdemeanor… and that one conviction is the only thing on their record. If that generally applies to your conviction, you may be eligible for an expungement of that old North Carolina conviction.

GOP Staffer Who Attacked Obama Girls Was Arrested During Her Own “Awful Teen Years” in North Carolina – Could Have Had Her Own Charges Expunged!

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Elizabeth Lauten is a Republican Congressional staff member who posted on Facebook about Sasha & Malia Obama at the annual Turkey Pardon Ceremony. She worked for Republican Congressman Steve Fincher of Tennessee as his Communications Director.

After a truly ugly offensive and inappropriate post about Sasha and Malia went viral she was deservedly forced to quit her job.
Now The Smoking Gun is reporting that she had her own “awful teenage years” and was arrested for larceny in North Carolina. See this link to the smoking gun article on her larceny arrest and deferred prosecution from Belk Department Stores in North Carolina when she was 17.
It’s pretty much a given that the children of elected officials are totally off limits. This woman’s post was hurtful and offensive and she deserves the public scorn that has come along with such a stupid post on Facebook. elizabethlautenfbpost

She also looks like a total hypocrite now that her larceny arrest and deferred prosecution has come to light. Unfortunately for her the record of her larceny arrest from Belk in North Carolina likely could have been expunged. The article says she was 17 and the case was dismissed after she completed the deferred prosecution program.

Had she hired a lawyer to file an expungement petition she could have had all public records erased as part of the North Carolina expungement process.

My law firm handles expungement work for North Carolina cases. If you have had a case dismissed you may be eligible to have the charges expunged. Just because a case has been dismissed it doesn’t mean that the charges have been erased. In North Carolina you need to file an expungement petition to erase the records of a dismissed case.

Had Elizabeth Lauten hired a North Carolina expungement lawyer to erase her public records through an expungement then nobody would have known what an “offensive and hypocritical” post she made on Facebook. They would have just been talking about what an offensive post she made on Facebook…

If you have a dismissed North Carolina case contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel for a free consultation. Our expungement attorney handles North Carolina expungement cases and can be reached at 919-585-1486.