Pisgah Legal Services, through our Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyers Program (MAVL), offers free legal assistance with filing for an Expunction or Certificate of Relief.

You may be eligible for an Expunction if:

  • Your charges were dismissed or there was a finding of not guilty.
  • You have a first-time conviction of a nonviolent misdemeanor offense occurring more than 5 years ago or a first-time conviction of a nonviolent felony offense occurring more than 10 years ago.
  • You have a first-time conviction of certain offenses committed before the ages of 18 or 22.

You may  NOT be eligible for an Expunction if the conviction is:

  • A Class A through G felony or a Class A1 misdemeanor.
  • An offense that includes assault is an essential element of the offense.
  • Offense requires sex offender registration. (refer to statute here)
  • Specified hate crimes (refer to statute here) See S. 15A-145.5(a)(6) and (a)(7).
  • Specified stalking offenses (refer to statute here) See S. 15A-145.5(a)(4)
  • Any felony offense in Chapter 90 of the General Statutes where the offense involves, methamphetamines, heroin, or possession with intent to sell or deliver or sell and deliver cocaine.
  • An offense under G.S. 14-401.16. (refer to statute here)
  • Any felony offense in which a commercial motor vehicle was used in the commission of the crime.
  • Various felony breaking and entering offenses (refer to statute here) See S. 15A-145.5 (a(7a))) and (here) and  (here)    
  • Any offense involving impaired driving as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(24a) (refer to statute here)
  • Any offense that is an attempt to commit an offense listed above.

You may be eligible for a Certificate of Relief if:

  • You have no more than 2 misdemeanor or G, H, or I felony convictions in the same session of court.
  • 12 months have passed since you completed all terms of your sentence.
  • You are engaged in or seeking to engage in a lawful occupation or activity.
  • You do not have any pending criminal charges.
  • You have complied with all of the terms of your sentence.
  • Granting the petition would not pose an unreasonable risk to the safety and welfare of the public or any individual.

You are NOT eligible for a Certificate of Relief if:

  • You have 2 or more convictions in a different session of court.
  • You have 1 Class A, B, C, D, E, or F felony conviction.

Call Pisgah Legal Services at (828) 253-0406 or toll-free at (800) 489-6144 to apply for services at any time. Additionally, you can visit the Justice Resource Center located on the 15th floor/Level M of the Old Courthouse at 60 Court Plaza, Asheville, NC 28801 on Mondays from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm.