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North Carolina passes Second Chance Act

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2022 | criminal law

Sometimes, people make bad decisions when they are young that lead to an arrest and conviction of a crime. When this happens at a relatively young age, late teens, for instance, the repercussions will follow that person for life and adversely affect his or her future. Now, North Carolina has passed the Second Chance bipartisan bill to hopefully provide some relief and hope for juveniles arrested and convicted of nonviolent crimes.

Second Chance Act explained

A great deal of controversy has surrounded how the criminal justice system treats juvenile offenders. Since many of juvenile crimes are relatively minor, nonviolent criminal offenses, the Second Chance Act could change the lives of hundreds of thousands of incarcerated youth. The Act proposes the expungement of a large number of criminal records for juveniles in the state, even if they were convicted of felonies.

To take advantage of the bill, most juvenile offenders won’t have to do anything. The bill states that individuals convicted of nonviolent charges when they were under the age of 18 in a single county can have their records expunged automatically. The process will likely take time, considering the number of cases that will need to be heard. Also, those convicted of multiple charges or charges involving more than one jurisdiction may have to petition the court for an expungement.

How to take advantage of the Act

Interested parties who wish to take advantage of North Carolina’s Second Chance Act should discuss the matter with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Since the process will likely take a considerable amount of time to implement, those seeking expungements can work with legal counsel to create a petition. This may help expedite the process, and legal counsel will remain on hand to help ensure the petitioner receives fair and just consideration during the process.