North Carolina’s expungement laws have undergone some important changes in recent years. First, there was the change to allow young offenders to expunge certain non-violent felonies. Then there was an expansion of that law to permit adult offenders to expunge certain non-violent felonies (after a 15 year wait). Those were both good changes to the law.

Now comes a problematic change. In an effort to raise additional revenue, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a law requiring the Clerk of Court to collect $175 fee from people whose cases were dismissed pursuant to a deferred prosecution or diversion agreement. An expungement must be filed with the fee, or else the clerk will not accept the petition.

The fee does not apply to expungements following a voluntary dismissal or not guilty result after trial.