Almost all of North Carolina’s expunction statutes for convictions have age requirements. Most require that the defendant have been under a certain age when he or she committed the offense, from under age 18 to under age 22 depending on the particular statute. In the past several years, the General Assembly has expanded expunctions of convictions based on the age of the offense—that is, a certain amount of time has passed since the conviction. A defendant is eligible for this type of expunction regardless of his or her age at the time of the offense.

This part of the guide reviews the expunction statutes for misdemeanor and felony convictions generally, all of which include an age requirement for either the defendant or the offense. Other North Carolina statutes allowing expunction of convictions deal with specific types of offenses, such as drug, gang, and prostitution offenses. Most of these statutes also include an age requirement and are addressed in the parts of this guide dealing with those offenses.