What Felonies Cannot be Expunged in NC?

By Joel Hancock

A criminal record can get in the way of achieving many things. That’s why individuals with criminal records often explore the option of expungement, which can provide a fresh start and a chance to rebuild their lives. However, it’s important to understand that not all felonies are eligible for expungement. 

An expungement is the legal process of erasing or sealing a criminal record, allowing individuals to move forward without the stigma of their past transgressions. This can be lifechanging for those who have rehabilitated themselves and are eager to rejoin society as responsible, law-abiding citizens. Expungement can help restore privacy and provide opportunities that were previously denied due to one’s criminal history.

How Does Expungement Help?

Having your felony expunged from your record can help improve your life in many ways:


One of the biggest reasons that people seek to expunge their felony record is to protect their privacy. Since criminal records can be accessed by the public, this means that everyone from potential landlords to future employers can see them. By expunging your record, your past will not prevent you from succeeding in your future.

Employment Opportunities 

A criminal record will undoubtedly influence potential employment. Many employers conduct background checks, which will look at your criminal past. If your background check reveals a felony, you will likely be disqualified from the pool of candidates – regardless of your skills or how much you’ve turned your life around. Expunging your record can afford you the opportunity to a fair chance of securing employment. 

Higher Education 

Some criminal convictions can even prevent individuals from certain scholarships, financial aid, or even admission to institutions. This makes it increasingly difficult for them to obtain higher education in the process of turning their life around. By expunging a criminal record, it reinstates the access to achieving educational goals. 


One of the biggest things impacted by a criminal record is your reputation. There is no price that can be placed on your reputation, and it can be easily tarnished. By expunging a criminal record, you can improve your reputation and be judged on what you are and will do, not on the mistakes that you have made in the past. 

Which Felonies Can’t Be Expunged?

Although expungement can be lifechanging, there are certain felonies that North Carolina will not allow to be expunged. These felonies include:

  • First-degree murder
  • Certain sex offenses
  • Violent crimes

These are generally ineligible for expungement. 

There’s no doubt that expungement in North Carolina provides individuals with the opportunity to start over, take back their reputation, and establish personal privacy. This in turn allows them to obtain higher education, more jobs, and improved housing. 

The Attorneys at Hancock Law Firm, PLLC Help Those in North Carolina Who Wish to Have Their Criminal Record Expunged

If you have been convicted of a felony in the past, but wish to have your record expunged, it’s important to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. He or she understands criminal law and can help to move you in a positive direction. Your past choices don’t have to define your future.

At Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, our felony defense attorneys fully understand the significance of expungement and will do everything that we can to help you obtain it. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

About the Author
Joel Hancock is a native of Carteret County, NC. He devotes 100% of his practice to defending those accused of traffic infractions, DWI, misdemeanors, and felonies in Carteret County, NC.