We are currently processing petitions received in April 2024
and granted orders received in January 2024.
Seeking to have a charge or multiple charges expunged from a North Carolina criminal record can be a timely and intimidating process. The process includes multiple steps involving the court system, the arresting agency, and the State Bureau of Investigation.  The information below is intended to provide some helpful hints about North Carolina’s expungement process and is not intended to be legal advice.  You can also review our Frequently Asked Questions here.
  • Petition forms and instructions are available at https://www.nccourts.gov/documents/forms.  It’s important to use the petition form that applies to the general statute being used to seek an expungement.  Using the incorrect form may significantly delay the process or result in a rejection.
  • The expungement process is initiated by filing the petition form in the county where the arrest occurred.  A petitioner may contact the clerk of court or contact a private attorney regarding the procedures for filing the petition form.
  • A petitioner is not required to hire an attorney to assist with the expungement process, it is the petitioner’s choice to hire legal representation.
  • In the absence of legal representation, the petitioner must correctly complete the petition form to include all personal and court information, docket numbers, charges, and dispositions.
  • Prior to completing the petition form, it may be helpful to obtain a copy of your criminal history record information utilizing the SBI’s Right To Review process.  Details regarding this process are available at https://www.ncsbi.gov/Services/Background-Checks under the “Personal Background Check” Section or call the SBI at (919) 582-8630.
  • The petition form must include the appropriate North Carolina General Statute (the statutes are listed in the section of the petition entitled Petition/Motion to Expunge), your signature or your attorney’s signature, and a judge’s signature. The application will automatically be rejected if this information is missing.
  • All charges, corresponding docket numbers, and file numbers must be included on the petition form. In addition, the file numbers and offenses need to be included in detail in the appropriate location on the petition form.  For example: the following three charges from one arrest cycle (AOF, Simple Affray, and Simple Assault) in file numbers 18 CR 001 and 18 CR 002 should be listed on the petition form follows:  
File Numbers Date of Arrest Offense Description Date of Offense Disposition Date of Disposition
18 CR 001 07/01/18 AOF 07/01/18 Dismissed 09/01/18
18 CR 001 07/01/18 Simple Affray 07/01/18 Dismissed 09/01/18
18 CR 002 07/01/18 Simple Assault 07/01/18 Dismissed 09/01/18