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Sen. Corbin’s criminal justice reform bill signed into law

Last updated on August 31, 2021

NC Senator Kevin Corbin’s co-sponsored Senate Bill 301 was signed by Governor Roy Cooper last week, and will allow more offenses to be removed from a person’s state criminal record.

“This allows people with non-violent felonies to have those felonies expunged. It’s the right thing to do,” said Sen. Corbin. “I know one man that’s about 40 years old that committed a non-violent felony at 17 years old but still has a felony on his record. He is now the father of two a deacon in his church and an outstanding member of the community. It’s people like this that need to be given a second chance. It’s the right thing to do.”

The new law allows a person to petition the court to remove a second or third nonviolent crime from their record within 24 months once 20 years have passed since the conviction or sentence completion.

The state’s current law allows people to seek expungement for more than one nonviolent misdemeanor or one nonviolent felony, with some exceptions.

Eliminating some of the challenges with expungements, the new law changes vehicle burglary’s classification from a violent felony to a nonviolent felony, making it eligible for expungement. It also clarifies that offenses can be expunged in more than one county if the petitions are filed within a 30-day period.

Both chambers of the General Assembly unanimously approved the measure this month.

“This legislation makes it easier for some people who have served time for non-violent crimes to re-enter society and get a fresh start in life,” Cooper said in a statement.

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