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The Expungement Process

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shutterstock_80852026Upon filing a Petition and Order of Expunction a lengthy process begins, roughly between 6 to 9 months. One of the appointed Judges will handle the initial signing of the petition, at which point it is then sent to the SBI (State Bureau of Investigation) for extensive review. The SBI handles the review of a nationwide background check for prior Felony convictions, prior expungements, any case which would cause suspicion. Once the SBI has finished their portion of the process, the petition and SBI’s findings are then returned to the appointed Judge for their final ruling. The final decision on an expungement is up to the discretion of the Judge whether to grant or deny the petition.  Should the Judge deny a petition, there is a thirty day window to appeal the decision before the expungement process would be required to start over again.

The expungement process can be complicated when determining what documents to use, if there is a fee involved, and most importantly, if an individual is qualified.  In order to determine if you are eligible for an expungement, contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC at (919) 585-1486.  Our office handles expungements in all 100 of North Carolina’s counties and would be happy to speak with you.

Expungement of Criminal Convictions in North Carolina

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You may be thinking “This is the first conviction I have ever had, I can get this immediately removed from my criminal record!”  Unfortunately, you would be wrong in your assumption.  Regardless if this was your first conviction or your one hundredth, North Carolina has strict rules on expungements.  In addition, depending upon the severity of the offense which was committed, you may never be eligible to have the conviction removed from your criminal record.

 

The process in which to determine your eligibility is quite simple, contact The Law Office of Wiley Nickel, PLLC, at (919) 585-1486 for a free consultation.  Our firm handles a multitude of expungements on a daily basis from any and all of North Carolina’s 100 counties.  To learn more about our Law Firm, we encourage you to visit our website and meet the team at www.wileynickel.com

North Carolina Expungement Information

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shutterstock_147371849In North Carolina, you may have your criminal record expunged, i.e. erased, however not everyone is eligible for an expungement.  If the North Carolina expungement petition is granted, and your record expunged, then each agency who had any involvement with the case will destroy the records.  This does not include all of the records kept by the Administrative Offices of the Counts (“AOC”).  AOC must keep an account of all expungements, should someone attempt to have another case removed from their record when they are not allowed to do so.  North Carolina allows only one expungement for a dismissed case one time in a lifetime.  This means you must carefully consider whether or not you wish to move forward.

·        (There is a bill in the legislature that would allow two dismissal expungements.  If passed in the summer of 2015 it would go into effect in December of 2015.  We will be closely monitoring this piece of legislation.)

In the majority of cases, after your record is expunged, you would not have to divulge the fact you were arrested, charge with a crime (providing this was the only one), or ever convicted in certain situations.

Charges which were Dismissed or found Not Guilty.  Your case may qualify for expungement. However, an expungement is not allowed if the following have occurred:

v  You have already had an expungement of another case dismissed case

o    The State of North Carolina only allows one dismissal expungement in your lifetime

v  You have been convicted of a Felony

v  You have any pending charges against you

v  The case pertains to a traffic violation

Your identity was stolen.  The case against you was a result of someone taking your identity, i.e. using your name, date of birth, etc.  You may petition to have the record expunged if the charges were dismissed, resulted in a finding of Not Guilty, or the related conviction was set aside.  You can have this kind of expungement as many times as you want even if you have already had a dismissal expungement.  You just have to be a true victim of identity theft.

You Were Convicted of a Crime.  Misdemeanor convictions involving drugs or alcohol are eligible in some cases if the arrested occurred while under the age of 21.  The period of time in which you would be required to wait to move forward with an expungement is determined based upon your age at the time of offense.  In some cases, you must wait two years before applying and in others you may apply as soon as you complete probation or the proceedings against you are otherwise dismissed.

To find the answers you are looking for and see about your eligibility for an expungement of your North Carolina record, contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC, at (919) 585-1486 for a free consultation.  Our firm handles a multitude of expungements on a daily basis from any and all of North Carolina’s 100 counties.  To learn more about our Law Firm, we encourage you to visit our website and meet the team at www.wileynickel.com.

Did you Receive Your First Offense in North Carolina? Was the Case Dismissed?

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shutterstock_gavel and scaleIf the answer to these questions is yes, you may be under the impression that these offenses will be removed or “fall off” from your record.  Unfortunately, in the state of North Carolina, dismissed charges stay on your criminal record forever unless they are expunged.

Because your case was dismissed as a first offender, you are immediately eligible for an expungement.  Of course there are certain offenses (i.e. traffic offenses) in North Carolina which are not eligible for an expungement, regardless if they were dismissed or not.

If you went through a program, such as the ones listed below, and have a deferral agreement signed by a Judge, there will be a $175 filing fee which is required by the state.  Programs include but are not limited to the following:

·         90-96 Program

·         First Offenders Program

·         Any Deferral Program

·         Teen Court

At The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC, we possess a wonderful team, which has a vast knowledge of the legal system in North Carolina.  Let us help you know for certain when you go for that big job that there will be nothing holding you back.

Please contact us any time at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation to determine your eligibility for an expungement.  Our office is located in Cary and we handle expungement petitions for the entire state of North Carolina.

What do I Need to Worry About for My Pre-Employment Background Check?

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shutterstock_bad job interview (640x462)So after months of job-searching, resume tweaking, and first-round interviews, you have finally found the perfect job. Now you are just a few steps away from obtaining your dream job, but there’s just one thing standing in your way: the Pre-Employment Background Check.

During this process, a prospective employer will be analyzing many aspects of your past. The scope of a background check may include your driving record, academic history, credit history, and most importantly; your criminal record.

Are you ready for your potential boss to start looking through your background? Are you prepared for a pre-employment background check? If you have criminal offenses on your record or you’re not sure what might show up, it may be worthwhile to run a criminal background on yourself before subjecting yourself to an employer.

In the state of North Carolina, charges on your record do not “drop off” even if the charge is dismissed. Any charge that you get will remain on your record until it is expunged. Expungement is a process through which record of a criminal offense is destroyed or removed.

If you’d like to see if you qualify for an expungement of your criminal charges, The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel can help you. Call (919) 585-1486 for a free consultation on your eligibility for an expungement in the state of North Carolina.

Raleigh NC Drug Charges Lawyer

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shutterstock_121570756Are you facing drug charges in Wake County?  The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC can help!

In the state of North Carolina, drug offenses are serious business. Thanks in part to mandatory minimum sentences, even a small amount of the wrong substance could land you in jail for a long time. If you stand accused of a drug crime in Raleigh, you need an experienced Wake County criminal defense lawyer that knows how the system works and will provide you with an aggressive defense. Defense Attorney Wiley Nickel will fight hard to ensure that your constitutional rights are protected. If you or someone you love faces drug charges, contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC today for a consultation.

Drug Offenses

The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC handles drug violations that involve:

–          Drug trafficking

–          Simple possession

–          Possession of drug paraphernalia

–          Possession with intent to sell or deliver

–          Possession of marijuana

–          Felony Drug Possession

Drugs that appear in the charges may include:

–          Meth

–          Cocaine

–          Marijuana

–          Heroin

–          MDMA

–          Hashish

–          Oxycontin

Search and Seizure

The outcome of many Wake County drug cases hinges on the whether the search and seizure of the evidence (i.e. the drugs) was conducted properly by the police. The police or Sheriff’s Office are not allowed to search a person or property without the consent of the person searched, probable cause or a warrant. The drug charges lawyers at The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC understand the many issues that surround search and seizure case law. If there is any factor that renders the search invalid, our lawyers will find it. They also negotiate with prosecutors to avoid jail time in favor of probation, drug treatment, or similar programs.

Expungement

The goal of any drug offense is to handle the case in a way  that can lead to an expungement.  Even if your case is dismissed you still need an expungement to erase the North Carolina criminal records of your offense.  We focus on post-conviction relief and will walk you through the options for an expungement at the onset of your case.

Aggressive Raleigh Defense Lawyers

When you want to focus on the best possible outcome contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation.  Our office is located in Cary, NC and you can reach us at 919-585-1486.  We handle drug charges for Wake County including the cities of Raleigh, Morrisville, Cary, Apex, Garner, Fuquay Varina, Zebulon, Wake Forest and Holly Springs.

Think you’ve got it??  “I’ll just represent myself without a lawyer.”  Bad Idea.

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shutterstock_30678190Lots of people think that some criminal charges are just small infractions that don’t really matter.  They want to just “pay the ticket.”  What they’re really saying is that they don’t want to pay for an attorney.  This is a terrible decision.  In Wake County, the District Attorneys are well-trained prosecutors.  Walking into a courtroom and pleading guilty just to “get it over with” can have lasting implications.  You can easily be put on probation (supervised or unsupervised) or many other disciplinary actions that the Judge has at his or her disposal.

You need a defense attorney!  This is important.  The Wake County DA’s job is NOT to help you.  The Wake County DA’s job is to prosecute you in a court of law.  Anything you say to them can be used against you.  You need an attorney that will be there as your legal representation. A lawyer who knows your rights and can defend you accordingly.

Criminal defense in Wake County is a tough job.  But anyone wanting to “defend themselves” is in for a shock.  Decisions like that can prevent you in the future from getting jobs, getting admitted to schools and getting rental housing/apartments.  A guilty plea by just “paying a ticket” can stay on your record forever and you could be explaining why you have a criminal conviction to prospective employers in the future.

Do NOT waive your right to an attorney without consulting a Raleigh Criminal Defense Attorney first.  Call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation of your case and protect yourself with the right representation.  Our office is located in Cary, NC and we can be reached at 919-585-1486.

Welcome to the Office Mary Beth Doyle!

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Mary Beth Law Office PictureMary Beth joins our team after working for the past year at the Wake County Clerk of Court Office.  While working in the Clerk’s Office, she gained valuable experience handling all of the Wake County District Court expungements.  Mary Beth has an insiders perspective about what is required to quickly and properly move an expungement petition through the system.  Her great experience and knowledge about expungements is a welcome and valued addition to the law firm.

Mary Beth grew up in several different states along the east coast.  She enjoyed a childhood on the beaches of Florida, in the mountains in Massachusetts, and the city life in Atlanta, Ga.  In July of 2013, she decided on a fresh start in Raleigh, accompanied by her two young sons.

When she is not busy at work, Mary Beth enjoys spending as much time as possible with her boys, cooking, and sharing her love of music with all around her.

Can I Have a Felony Expunged From My Record?

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NC Erase the past expungement lawyerIs it possible to have a Felony expunged from my record in North Carolina?  The answer is… Yes!

There are several different factors which come into play when applying for a Felony expungement.  First you must know whether the felony charge resulted in a conviction or a dismissal, along with all other information associated with the case.  Second, you must make sure you have all of the necessary paperwork which will be filed with your petition, i.e., the required affidavits, and filing payment.

If you have a felony conviction on your record (and nothing else other than traffic tickets) the wait time is generally 15 years unless you were under 18 at the time of arrest.  There is a chance that the wait time will be lowered to ten years with a pending bill in the Legislature.

To the average person, this task will seem overwhelming.  However, here at The Law offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC, we possess a team willing and able to assist you.  All you must do is pick up the phone or send us an email, and we will handle the rest for you.

Our office is located in Cary, North Carolina and we handle expungements for the entire state of North Carolina.  You can reach our expungement lawyers at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation to learn whether or not you are eligible.  For more information we invite you to view our website at www.wileynickel.com/expungements

6 Steps to Get Your Criminal Record Expunged in North Carolina

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How does it work to get a conviction expunged?shutterstock_messy file folder

A new law on the books in North Carolina that could allow you to have a felony or misdemeanor conviction expunged if it

fits specific statutory criteria.

1)   The conviction must be a misdemeanor or level H-I felony and does not:

– Involve any type of assault

– Require registering as a sex offender

– Involve possession of methamphetamines or heroin, or the sale and delivery of cocaine

– Involve a hate crime

– Involve the use of a commercial motor vehicle

2)   You cannot have any convictions other than traffic citations.

3)   You have to wait 15 years from the last date of the active sentence or probation OR from the date of conviction (if the punishment did not involve probation or jail time).

 [Note that a new law working its way through the legislature over the summer of 2015 may change that waiting time to 5 years for a misdemeanor conviction and 10 years for a low level felony conviction.  If this bill passes it would go into effect in December of 2015.]

The 6 steps to getting a conviction expunged in Raleigh, North Carolina 

If you fit the criteria above, to get the conviction expunged you must:

1)   Get the following affidavits and have them notarized:

An affidavit from the petitioner stating that they have been of good moral character since the conviction and that they have not had any other convictions other that traffic citations.

Verified affidavits from 2 people not related to you or each other that they know the character and reputation of the petitioner in the community where he/she lives and that the petitioner’s character and reputation are good.

A statement that the petition is a motion in the cause in the case wherein the petitioner was convicted.

An affidavit by the petitioner that no restitution orders or civil judgments against the petitioner is outstanding.

2)   Fill out a proper expungement petition for the courts.  You need to know the date of offense, date of disposition, case number, name of arresting agency and specific details about all charges.

3)   Serve the district attorney for the county where the charge occurred.

To serve the district attorney, you have to properly give them a copy of all of the affidavits and the final expungement petition. An assistant district attorney will sign off on your original form that the D.A.’s Office has been served.

4)    File the expungement petition with the clerk of courts.

The cost to file this expunction is $175.00, which must be paid to the clerk of court at the time of filing. Your particular county may require a certified copy of your criminal record as part of your petition but all counties vary.

5)   Court Hearing (maybe but not likely)

Each county will have a different procedure, a hearing for this type of petition is authorized but the county may waive the hearing. So far, Wake County has waived all of the hearings that The law Offices of Wiley Nickel has submitted for this type of expunction.

6)   Wait for the Process to Play Out

This is a long slow process.  If we could speed up the process we certainly would do so but the timing is out of our hands once a petition is filed.  Your petition will be reviewed by a judge then sent to the SBI in Raleigh to conduct a thorough background check to determine if you qualify for the expunction. Then the petition goes back to the original court to have a hearing (or not). Once that is complete, the SBI is notified to send notices to the agencies listed on the petition to erase the formal record. Do not expect this process to take less than six to nine months.  We spend a good amount of time checking on the petitions throughout this process as they can often be lost or delayed at various stops in the process by court clerks or other governmental agencies.

The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC handles expungement petitions for the entire state of North Carolina.  Please contact our expungement lawyers at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation to determine if you are eligible for an expungement.