North Carolina

Restoration of Rights Project – North Carolina Profile

Guide to restoration of rights, pardon, sealing & expungement following a North Carolina criminal conviction

Collateral Consequences Assessment Tool (C-CAT) Database

Searchable online inventory of collateral consequences under North Carolina Law by the University of North Carolina School of Government

North Carolina: Relief from a Criminal Conviction: A Digital Guide to Expunctions, Certificates of Relief, and Other Procedures in North Carolina

John Rubin, University of North Carolina, School of Government



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Related blog posts:

  • Sex offender consequences in the Supreme Court – what’s ahead? (7/18/2017) - “The Supreme Court’s Mixed Signals in Packingham” is the title of a thoughtful comment by Bidish Sarma analyzing the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Packingham v. North Carolina, recently published on the American Constitution Society website.  (An early analysis of the Packingham decision by Wayne Logan appeared on this site on June 20.)  Mr. Sarma proposes that “the time has come [...]
  • SCOTUS invalidates law criminalizing sex offender access to social media (6/20/2017) - Departing from its customary reluctance to find fault with laws singling out convicted sex offenders for harsh treatment, after they have completed their sentences, the Supreme Court in Packingham v. North Carolina yesterday struck down a state law making it a felony for registered sex offenders to access commercial social networking websites. The petitioner in Packingham, a registered sex offender, violated [...]
  • Court rules sex offenders cannot be barred from social media (6/20/2017) - The Supreme Court ruled on June 19, without dissent, that sex offenders cannot constitutionally be barred from social-networking sites.  SCOTUSblog’s Amy Howe introduced the Court’s ‘s holding in Packingham v. North Carolina as follows: In 2002, Lester Packingham became a convicted sex offender at the age of 21, after he pleaded guilty to taking indecent liberties with a child – having [...]
  • Supreme Court considers restrictions on sex offender access to internet (2/27/2017) - This morning the Supreme Court considered whether sex offenders may constitutionally be barred from internet access to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.  Lester Packingham, who was required to register as a sex offender after pleading guilty to taking “indecent liberties” with a minor when he was a 21-year-old college student, ran afoul of a North Carolina criminal statute when [...]
  • New research report: Four Years of Second Chance Reforms, 2013-2016 (2/8/2017) - Introduction Since 2013, almost every state has taken at least some steps to chip away at the negative effects of a criminal record on an individual’s ability to earn a living, access housing, education and public benefits, and otherwise fully participate in civil society.  It has not been an easy task, in part because of the volume and complexity of [...]
  • NC sex offender exclusion law held unconstitutional (12/7/2016) - Last week the Fourth Circuit held unconstitutional two key provisions of a North Carolina law that made it a felony for sex offenders to be within 300 feet of certain premises that are “intended primarily for the use, care, or supervision of minors” or on premises where minors “gather for regularly scheduled educational, recreational, or social programs.” The three-judge panel held that the [...]
  • Reentry efforts undermined by collateral consequences (3/24/2016) - Editor’s note: Earlier this week Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that The Justice Department has christened the week of April 24-30 “National Reentry Week.”  In the announcement, the Attorney General highlighted  “the major steps [taken by the Obama administration] to make our criminal justice system more fair, more efficient, and more effective at reducing recidivism and helping formerly incarcerated individuals [...]
  • Updated North Carolina relief guide now available (10/21/2015) - At long last I have released the 2015 edition of my online guide to relief from a criminal conviction in North Carolina. This free guide, available here from the UNC School of Government, covers the various forms of relief available under North Carolina law, including expunctions, certificates of relief, petitions to restore firearm rights and terminate sex offender registration obligations, [...]
  • New York Times editors question efficacy of expungement laws (3/19/2015) - In an editorial titled “Job Hunting With a Criminal Record,” the editors of the New York Times tackle the problem of employment discrimination against the estimated 70 million Americans who “carry the burden of a criminal record.”  They question the efficacy of expungement and other popular “forgetting” strategies for dealing with employer aversion to risk, preferring the “longer term” approach of “a [...]
  • Forgiving v. forgetting: A new redemption tool (3/19/2015) - The following thought-provoking piece about the growing popularity of judicial “certificates of good conduct” was first published in The Marshall Project ( a nonprofit news organization focused on the US criminal justice system. The “forgiving” approach to avoiding or mitigating collateral consequences is an important alternative to the “forgetting” approach advocated by proponents of expungement or sealing, which tend in any event [...]