Criminal Diversion Programs in North Carolina – Know Your Options – Raleigh Expungement Lawyer

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Criminal Diversion Programs in North Carolina Can Lead to An Expungement

A criminal record is life-changing, and can compromise housing applications, gainful employment prospects, college admissions, and student loans, among other things. These difficulties impair convicted offenders’ abilities to become productive members of society and certainly make it harder to find a job.

Are you eligible for a criminal deferral program?

Enter criminal diversion programs. These valuable programs, usually geared towards first-time offenders, rehabilitate defendants, allowing them avoid a conviction upon successful completion of the program.

Adult Diversion Programs

There are a number of adult diversion programs available in North Carolina for minor or first-time offenses. Most programs are geared towards drug and alcohol offenses, but informal programs are available for other types of minor offenses as well.  Our Expungement Lawyer can explain the options.

Conditional Discharge 90/96 Program

North Carolina G.S. 90-96 allows for a dismissal of drug cases for defendants charged of certain first-time drug offenses, including possession of controlled substances or paraphernalia. To quality for this program, defendants must not have any prior drug convictions or other felony convictions.

Under this program, defendants are sometimes required to perform community service, pay court costs and fines, and complete a drug abuse assessment program and the required drug classes. If defendants complete these requirements within the approved time period and stay out of trouble the case will be dismissed.

Felony Drug Diversion Program

Defendants facing first-time felony drug charges may be eligible to participate in the felony drug diversion program. This program is much more extensive, and lasts a full year.

Defendants are required to sign an admission of guilt, submit to random drug tests, complete 225 hours of community service, meet monthly with a case manager, remain in school or employed, and avoid criminal convictions of any kind. Upon successful completion, the case will be dismissed.

Informal First Offender Programs

An informal first-time offender program may be an option for other first-time low-level offenses such as shoplifting. In this case, your defense attorney would make a deal with the Assistant District Attorney managing your case. These programs vary on a case-by-case basis, but often include restitution, community service, court fees, and potentially counseling. In Wake County these diversion programs usually involve 75 hours of community service.

Teen Court

In Wake County there is an option for some to do teen court to complete community service and participate in mock court sessions with other youthful offenders.

Expungement

For many the goal is an expungement to clear all of your criminal records once the case is dismissed.  We can talk to you about your eligibility for a North Carolina expungement when/if the case is dismissed.

Contact a North Carolina Diversion Lawyer

If you are charged with a crime in Wake County, North Carolina you can contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel for a free consultation.  You may be able to enter into a deal that would lead to a dismissal of your case.  You can reach a Raleigh Expungeement Lawyer at 919-948-7159 to talk about your possible options for a dismissal deal and then an expungement.

How Do I Remove a Dismissed Criminal Case From My Record in North Carolina?

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A big question we often get from clients after getting their case is dismissed is “how will it affect my record?” Will a background check reveal that I was arrested? Will the charges show up when I go to rent property? The short answer is usually yes, the arrest and charges would still appear unless you get an expungement.

Expungement of Dismissed Cases in NC

Expungement is a way to remove convictions or dismissed cases from your record so that future background checks won’t display any arrests or charges. For North Carolina residents, the possibility of pursuing expungement has recently changed in a good way. North Carolina has recently made it much easier to get dismissed cases removed from your record through the expunction process.

Governor Roy Cooper signed a new expungement law, which took effect on December 1, 2017. This new law cuts down the wait time for non-violent misdemeanor and felony convictions. Misdemeanor conviction wait times have been reduced from 15 years to 5. Felony convictions from 15 years to 10. The new law has also lifted the limit of one expungement when the defendant’s charges were dismissed or they were acquitted. Now if the defendants whose charges are dismissed or who were found “not guilty” can apply for as many expungements as they want (assuming no felony convictions or active criminal cases).

Petitioning for an expungement can seem easy but it has a number of steps and involves a good amount of specific clerical work. The petition must be filed in the county where the charges took place. Also, the expungement process is a lengthy one so properly filling out and filing the paperwork is very important as a small mistake could mean your petition gets denied and you have to start again from scratch (having lost tons of time).

If you have a dismissed case or a not guilty verdict on your record contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free North Carolina expungement consultation.  Our office is located in Cary, NC and we handle expungements throughout North Carolina. Our phone number is 919-585-1486.  Contact a North Carolina Expungement Lawyer today to discuss your case.

How Does the Expungement Process Work in North Carolina?

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Step #1: Determining Eligibility

Are you eligible for an expungement? There are different rules for dismissed cases and convictions.  For dismissed cases there is now no limit on the amount of dismissed cases and not guilty cases you can get erased through the expungement process (as long as you don’t have a felony conviction or an active criminal case).  For convictions there are certain crimes that are not eligible for expungement and there are different rules for those under 18 at the time of offense, under 22 for certain crimes and then a 5/10 year wait for felony charges (10) and misdemeanors (5).  We generally need to pull court records to confirm whether you are eligible.

Step #2: Filing the Petition

Once we determine whether you are eligible for an expungement, we will file a petition for expunction in the clerk’s office in the county where you were charged.  You may need to sign affidavits and get character witnesses to do the same.  There may or may not be court costs of $175 depending on the type of expungement.

Step #3: Review by the SBI (North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation)

Following an initial signature by a judge or district attorney (if required) the petition is then mailed to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).  The SBI will conduct a search of the criminal records of North Carolina. Any records discovered will be attached to the petition and mailed to the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).  After reviewing the petition for any prior expungements by petitioner, the AOC attaches another report of its findings and sends it back to the clerk of court of the county where the petition was originally filed. This part of the process can take several months.

Step #4: Final Judgment by the Court

Once the petition is returned to the courthouse a judge makes a final determination based on the petition and information provided by the SBI and AOC. A this point the judge may sign the order granting the expungement without a formal hearing. However, if there is a question as to the applicant’s eligibility or if the district attorney has an objection, then a formal hearing could be required.  Following that hearing, the court will either grant or deny the expungement petition.

Step #5: Removal of Expunged Records

Upon the granting of the expungement petition, the clerk of court is statutorily required to send notice of the expunction to all of the relevant agencies that have information about your case.  They are then required to eliminate those records from the system after they’ve received notice.

If you have a criminal record (conviction or dismissed case) contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC to speak with an expungement lawyer during a free consultation.  We can be reached at 919-585-1486.

 

North Carolina Expungement Lawyer Explains Expungement Process

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Are you eligible for a North Carolina Expungement?

Your case is over but your record remains visible for all to see! If your case was dismissed (or you have certain convictions), you can protect your reputation and rebuild your life through the process of Expunging your North Carolina criminal record (also called Expunction).  Even if your case was dismissed a record still remains that is visible to future employers, current employers, customers, landlords, colleges, insurers and anyone else who might do a check on your record.

If you worked with your attorney to negotiate a dismissal of your criminal charge or are found not guilty at trial your criminal arrest record will still remain.  Even if you get a voluntary dismissal the original criminal charge will always be on your record.  If your record is expunged then all searches of your record will show a clean criminal record and a clean public arrest record.

A new law change allows for certain misdemeanor convictions to be expunged after 5 years and certain felony convictions to be erased through the expungement process after 10 years have passed.

Call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation at 919-585-1486 to see if you are eligible for a North Carolina Expungement. Contact Expungement Lawyer Melissa Botiglione at our office in Cary today.

How Many Different Expungements Can You Get in North Carolina?

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How To Get Your Criminal Record Expunged: Can You Get Multiple Expungements in North Carolina over a lifetime?

You can get as many expungements as the law allows.  Some types expungements bar you from getting certain other types of expungement in the future and for other situations there could be multiple expungements allowed.  It’s all very fact specific.

Certain Convictions under 18 and Certain Drinking Tickets under 21

Many can get an NC expungement of a misdemeanor conviction for an offense committed before the age 18 plus certain drinking tickets before age 21.  That expungement statute does not list a prior expungement as a bar to getting one.

Dismissal/Not Guilty Expungements

In many cases you can’t get a dismissal expungement if you’ve had certain other types of expungements.  If you have a misdemeanor conviction on your record and want to get an expungement for a dismissed case that conviction likely does not bar you from a dismissal expungement.  For many clients the order of using their expungements is very important and if there are multiple things going on you could limit the possibilities for expungements if you do them in the wring order.

15 Year Wait Expungements

For many clients their public records can be erased through the expungement process for one misdemeanor or low level felony after 15 years have passed (assuming it’s the only criminal conviction on their record).  In that situation most other prior expungements could block them from the 15 year wait kind of expungement.  An expunction of a dismissal is the one type of expungement that is not listed as a bar to getting the 15 year type.

What Next?

A prior expungement generally makes it difficult for a person to get an expungement more than once. However there is not a rule that allows only one expungement for all scenarios. The terms of each statute control whether a person can obtain another expungement. North Carolina law creates a narrow path to additional expungements in many situations.  All cases are different.  If you have questions about getting a second expungement contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation.  Our NC Expungements Lawyers will answer your questions and let you know if we can expunge criminal records for you.

NC Expungement Information

A great Op-Ed from the Raleigh News & Observer – Help for those with North Carolina criminal records.

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A link for a great Op-Ed from the News & Observer.  Text below.

“N.C. bill would help those with criminal records

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article150219672.html#storylink=cpy
If you are interested in learning more about the expungement process in North Carolina hit this link to learn more about what crimes are eligible for a North Carolina expungement.

The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC Earns BBB Accreditation

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 17, 2017

The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel is Committed to BBB’s Standards for Trust

This week, The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel announced its recent accreditation by Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina. As a BBB Accredited Business, The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel is dedicated to promoting trust in the marketplace.

“We are proud to have met BBB’s high standards and we are excited to be part of an organization that exists so consumers and businesses alike have an unbiased source to guide them on matters of trust,” said Raleigh Attorney Wiley Nickel. “BBB Accreditation gives our customers confidence in our commitment to maintaining high ethical standards of conduct.”

BBB Accredited Businesses must adhere to BBB’s “Standards for Trust,” a comprehensive set of policies, procedures and best practices representing trustworthiness in the marketplace. The standards call for building trust, embodying integrity, advertising honestly, telling the truth, being transparent, honoring promises, being responsive and safeguarding privacy.

When dealing with a BBB Accredited Business the consumer has peace of mind knowing that they are dealing with an honest organization that is accountable to its clients.

For additional information regarding BBB Accreditation, visit easternnc.bbb.org.

 

About The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC:

“When your future and reputation are at stake, an experienced Raleigh Criminal Defense Lawyer makes your rights a priority.”

As a former Deputy District Attorney Wiley Nickel has the experience that matters most.  With a practice based on trust, respect, discretion and professionalism, Raleigh Criminal Lawyer Wiley Nickel helps his clients avoid the dire consequences of criminal charges.

As a Raleigh Criminal Defense Attorney, Wiley focuses on Wake County Misdemeanor charges and Raleigh DWI/DUI offenses.  A DWI or other criminal charge can have a profound effect on your life and financial situation, and the right Raleigh Criminal Defense Attorney makes all the difference.  Fighting traffic tickets, which may negatively impact your record and lead to huge increases for your car insurance, is another way Wiley defends every aspect of your rights.

Wiley Nickel and Associate Attorney Kristi Haddock focus on Raleigh Criminal Defense, Family Law, Wake County Traffic Tickets and Epxungements from their Offices in Cary and Apex.  Contact The law Offices of Wiley Nickel when you need an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney, Marijuana Defense Lawyer, DWI Lawyer in the cities of Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville, Apex, Holly Springs and Fuquay Varina.  Defending your rights is our main priority.

About BBB serving Eastern North Carolina:

Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation serving 33 counties in eastern North Carolina. The organization is funded primarily by BBB Accredited Business fees from more than 3,000 local businesses and professional firms. BBB promotes integrity, consumer confidence and business ethics through business self-regulation in the local marketplace. Services provided by BBB include reports on companies and charitable organizations, general monitoring of advertising in the marketplace, consumer/business education programs and dispute resolution services. All services are provided at no cost to the public, with the occasional exception of mediation and arbitration. Visit bbb.org.

North Carolina Expungement Court Costs

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Expungement court costs can be confusing.  The North Carolina Legislature recently made expungements more expensive for some people and added an extra $175 in expungement court costs in order to file for certain expungement petitions when a case has been dismissed.

If your case was dismissed as the result of compliance with a deferred prosecution agreement or a conditional discharge and dismissal then the law says you need to pay an extra $175 in expungement court costs for an expungement.  If your case was NOT dismissed deferred prosecution agreement or a conditional discharge program then you do not need to pay court costs of $175 for a dismissal expungement.  The main rule of thumb is generally whether or not a judge signed the deferred prosecution agreement.

You do not need to pay the $175 in expungement court costs if you do not wish to file an expungement.

If your case was dismissed for any number of other reasons then you would not likely have expungement court costs.  If you were found Not Guilty then there would be no expungement court costs for an eligible expungement petition.  Other reasons for a dismissal could be the failure of the state to prosecute (no witnesses).  They could also be weak legal grounds for the case where the DA dismisses the case or an informal dismissal where the case was dismissed for community service where there was no formal signed agreement.

You can also seek to avoid expungement court costs if you are indigent.  In order to automatically qualify for an indigent fee waiver of the $175 expungement court costs you must be a current recipient of one of the following:

  1. Food stamps
  2. Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)
  3. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  4. Representation by legal services organization (or private attorney working on behalf of legal services organization).

An individual not currently receiving one of these benefits, must submit an affidavit of Indigency to try to avoid the $175 North Carolina Expungement Court costs.  This affidavit would just need to show that you have little or no money coming in and could not afford the $175 court costs to clear your record.

If you would like more information about North Carolina Expungements and NC Expungement Court Costs you can call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation to discuss hiring our law firm for your North Carolina Expungement petition.  We are based in Cary, NC and handle petitions for the entire state of North Carolina.

New Satellite Office Open in Apex! Wake County Expungement Lawyer

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The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC is proud to announce the opening of our first Satellite office.  The new office is located in Apex, North Carolina at 510 West Williams Street, Suite 101.  We will be able to take meetings by appointment at this new office location in Apex.  The expansion is part of an effort to better serve clients in Western Wake County and Chatham County, North Carolina.

At The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC, we believe that successfully addressing client needs requires more than just knowledge of the law and a mastery of the multitude of rules and regulations that impact our clients’ needs. Providing quality legal services means being in our client’s community and being able to meet our clients where they live. Our commitment to excellence, combined with our mission to deliver outstanding client service, has earned our firm the excellent reputation it enjoys today.

The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC is proud to have a great reputation and a tradition of aggressive representation of our client’s needs.  We provide quality legal representation and are dedicated to maintaining and expanding our capabilities and expertise across a wide range of practice areas in order to better address the diverse needs of our clients.  Our principal areas of practice include: Criminal Defense, DWI Defense, Speeding Tickets, Wake County Expungement Petitions, NC Expungements, Juvenile Delinquency, DMV Issues, Child Custody and Divorce. We are also experienced in a number of specialty areas that are incorporated into these core criminal defense based practice groups.

If you are charged with a criminal offense and live in the Apex, NC area you can contact us at our new Apex location or our Cary location for a free consultation.  We handle Wake County Expungement Petitions.

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