DA’s office to seek expungement for teen convictions | The Enterprise
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DA’s office to seek expungement for teen convictions

Posted on February 17, 2021

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lkay@springhopeenterprise.com | 252-265-8117

Evans

Evans

NASHVILLE — Prosecutors will soon seek expungement of certain misdemeanor and nonviolent felony convictions for offenders who were 16 or 17 at the time of their crimes.

The initiative can provide a fresh start for people convicted in the adult court system as teenagers, said District Attorney Robert A. Evans, chief prosecutor for the 8th Prosecutorial District that includes Nash, Edgecombe and Wilson counties.

“Our office is simply enforcing a policy decision, enacted overwhelmingly in a bipartisan law passed by the North Carolina General Assembly,” Evans said. “Giving a second chance to the young people affected is the right thing to do if we truly believe that there are some youthful indiscretions that should not ruin one’s entire life. It is also the smart thing to do for communities in that removes barriers to making these young folk employable, taxpaying citizens.”

An expungement is a court-ordered process in which the legal record of an arrest or a criminal conviction is sealed or erased in the eyes of the law, according to Black’s Law Dictionary, the most widely used source of its kind in the United States.

The expungements will be sought under Section 1 of the Second Chance Act, which was enacted on June 25. Section 1 enables district attorneys to petition the court for expungement due to Raise the Age legislation that went into effect on Dec. 1, 2019, according to a press release issued by Evans’ administrative assistant Heather Nicol.

“If these offenses were committed today, they would be treated as confidential juvenile offenses,” Nicol said.

The N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts has already identified all individuals who are eligible for expungement under the new law. 

“The district attorney’s office will be proceeding in due course with the expungements. Individuals receiving one of these expungements will be notified by letter in the postal mail,” Nicol said.

The expungement process will begin in March.  

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