How to expunge a PJC in NC
Expunging a PJC in NC for an offense that occurred after you turned 18 is no simple matter despite what many are led to believe by their attorney. Far too many lawyers fail to properly inform their client that a PJC appears on your record for all time and is treated like a conviction by most employers. Before you abandon hope it is sometimes possible to expunge a PJC.
A Prayer for Judgement is treated just like a conviction for expunction purposes, so if you are eligible to expunge the charge as a conviction then you can proceed immediately with an expunction. If however, you are not eligible to expunge the charge as a conviction due to the recency or level of the charge you have to look at other options.
Generally speaking most PJC’s are given in District Court for minor offenses. Often the defendant could have received a dismissal if they had an attorney or sought deferred prosecution. Before attempting to expunge a PIC one should always consult an attorney because you could in fact change your PJC into a straight conviction which would be worse. The other great option is called a Motion for Appropriate Relief or "MAR" in which a conviction is set aside.
Can a PJC be expunged?
A PJC is treated just like a guilty verdict for expunction purposes. This means sometimes it is eligible "as is" depending on the severity of the charge, the age of the defendant at the time of the offense, and and how many years it has been since the case has been closed.
How to expunge a PJC that is not eligible "as is"
- Have your attorney speak with the DA about agreeing to dismiss the case.
- Show up to Court and pray Judgment. (Only works if case was handled in District Court)
- The Judge will sentence you in District Court at which point you appeal to Superior Court.
- Hopefully the DA will agreed to dismiss the case (if not then you would have to win in Superior Court)
- Once the case is dismissed then you may file for an expungement.
- Be aware that attempting this method without an attorney can backfire and change your PJC to a straight guilty.