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June 14, 2024 10:45 pm

Local News

NC House Panel Moves to End Automatic Expungement of Some Criminal Records

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In a significant shift, a North Carolina House committee has approved a bill to end the automatic expungement of certain criminal records. The bipartisan 2020 law initially directed state officials to automatically delete criminal charges that were dismissed or resulted in not guilty verdicts, part of a broader “second chance” movement. This process led to over half a million record deletions in just eight months, creating operational challenges for the court system.

GOP Rep. Sarah Stevens of Surry County, who spearheaded the bill, cited unresolved technical and legal issues as reasons for the change. The bill has sparked debate, with advocates like the ACLU arguing it undermines efforts to remove barriers for individuals with criminal records. Despite criticism, the bill passed the committee on a divided voice vote and now heads to the full House for further consideration.