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:
- Food stamps
- Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- 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.