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(a) Definition.--For purposes of this section, the following terms apply:
(1) Nonviolent offense.--Any misdemeanor or felony except the following:
a. A Class A through G felony.
b. An offense that includes assault as an essential element of the offense.
c. An offense requiring registration pursuant to Article 27A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes, whether or not the person is currently required to register.
d. Any of the following sex-related or stalking offenses: G.S. 14-27.25(b), 14-27.30(b), 14-190.7, 14-190.8, 14-190.9, 14-202, 14-208.11A, 14-208.18, 14-277.3A, or 14-321.1.
e. An offense under G.S. 14-12.12(b), 14-12.13, or 14-12.14, or any offense for which punishment was determined pursuant to G.S. 14-3(c).
f. An offense under G.S. 14-401.16.
g. A traffic offense.
h. Any offense that is an attempt to commit an offense described in sub-subdivisions a. through g. of this subdivision.
(2) Trafficking victim.--A person that meets the definition for the term “victim” set forth in G.S. 14-43.10 or a victim of a severe form of trafficking under the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act (22 U.S.C. § 7102(13)).
(b) Expunction Authorized.--A person who has been convicted of a nonviolent offense may file a petition in the court of the county where the person was convicted for expunction of the nonviolent offense from the person's criminal record if the court finds that the person was coerced or deceived into committing the offense as a direct result of having been a trafficking victim.
(c) Petition Requirements.--The petition shall contain all of the following:
(1) An affidavit by the petitioner that the petitioner is a victim of human trafficking and was coerced or deceived into committing the offense as a direct result of their status as a trafficking victim.
(2) A statement that the petition is a motion in the cause in the case wherein the petitioner was convicted.
(3) An application on a form approved by the Administrative Office of the Courts requesting and authorizing a search by the Department of Public Safety for any outstanding warrants. The application shall be filed with the clerk of superior court. The clerk of superior court shall forward the application to the Department of Public Safety, which shall conduct the search and report its findings to the court.
(4) An affidavit by the petitioner that no restitution orders or civil judgments representing amounts ordered for restitution entered against the petitioner are outstanding.
(d) Service of Petition.--The petition shall be served upon the district attorney of the court wherein the case was tried resulting in conviction. The district attorney shall have 30 days thereafter in which to file any objection thereto and shall be duly notified as to the date of the hearing of the petition.
(e) Issues for Consideration.--The court in which the petition was filed may take the following steps and may consider the following issues in rendering a decision upon a petition for expunction of records of an offense under this section:
(1) Call upon a probation officer for additional investigation or verification of the petitioner's conduct during the period since the date of conviction of the offense in question.
(2) Review any other information the court deems relevant, including, but not limited to, affidavits or other testimony provided by law enforcement officers, district attorneys, or licensed social workers.
(f) Restoration of Status.--The court shall order that the person be restored, in the contemplation of the law, to the status the person occupied before the arrest or indictment or information if the court finds all of the following after a hearing:
(1) The criteria set out in subsection (b) of this section are satisfied.
(2) The petitioner has no outstanding warrants.
(3) The petitioner has no outstanding restitution orders or civil judgments representing amounts ordered for restitution entered against the petitioner.
(g) Effect.--No person as to whom an order has been entered pursuant to subsection (f) of this section shall be held thereafter under any provision of any laws to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving false statement by reason of that person's failure to recite or acknowledge the arrest, indictment, information, trial, or conviction. Persons required by State law to obtain a criminal history record check on a prospective employee shall not be deemed to have knowledge of any convictions expunged under this section.
(h) Law Enforcement Certification.--Persons pursuing certification under the provisions of Article 1 of Chapter 17C of 17E of the General Statutes, however, shall disclose all convictions to the certifying Commission regardless of whether or not the convictions were expunged pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(i) Records Expunged.--The court shall also order that the conviction of the offenses be expunged from the records of the court and direct all law enforcement agencies bearing record of the same to expunge their records of the conviction. The clerk shall notify State and local agencies of the court's order as provided in G.S. 15A-150.
(j) Additional Records Expunged.--Any other applicable State or local government agency shall expunge from its records entries made as a result of the conviction ordered expunged under this section. The agency shall also reverse any administrative actions taken against a person whose record is expunged under this section as a result of the charges or convictions expunged. This subsection shall not apply to the Department of Justice for DNA records and samples stored in the State DNA Database and the State DNA Databank.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 15A. Criminal Procedure Act § 15A-145.9. Expunctions of certain offenses committed by human trafficking victims - last updated January 01, 2020 | https://codes.findlaw.com/nc/chapter-15a-criminal-procedure-act/nc-gen-st-sect-15a-145-9.html
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