Do I need a lawyer to have my dismissed misdemeanor larceny expunged in North Carolina?

UPDATED: Jun 24, 2009

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Do I need a lawyer to have my dismissed misdemeanor larceny expunged in North Carolina?

Some friends and I were shopping in walmart in NC. We ended up leaving the store and were called back in by two workers. Make the story short two girls stole and me and the other girl didnt. But because no one talked, we all went down for it. We all received deferred prosecution. Our cases were dismissed. Im now trying to get a job but am scared to death because I dont want them to see something that I didnt do. Should I have this expunged? and if so do I need a lawyer to do that?

Asked on June 24, 2009 under Criminal Law, North Carolina


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Two types of people are eligible for a NC criminal expungement.  The first group consists of persons convicted of a criminal misdemeanor while under the age of 18.  The main requirement for eligibility for such a person is a clean record since the conviction (traffic violations do not count).

The second group of people who are eligible for a NC expungement are those individuals who were arrested or charged with a crime, but subsequently the criminal charges were dismissed, or the person was found not-guilty or not responsible in a court of law.  To be eligible for an expungement under those circumstances a person must not have a prior expungement or any felony convictions.

While an expungement for an offender under 18 is a more complicated process, in both cases one must apply to the NC court for the expungement and a hearing will be held.

The advantage of a criminal record expungement is that a person can truthfully and lawfully say that he or she was never arrested, charged, or convicted of the offense in question.  This is a valuable option when filling out applications for school or work.  Any inquiry made of the individual for any purpose can truthfully be answered in the negative after an exupungement and all of the state's records must reflect the expungement.

So the answer to your questions are: yes, you can and should get this record expunged; and no, you do not need an attorney to do it.  However, it can mean filing a lot of papers so if paperwork isn't your thing you should consider getting an attorney to help you with this.

Here's a site that can help you get started:

It's for Wake County, but the process is the same throughout the state.

Best of luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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