NC residents having criminal records expunged
erased more than in any other state – likely due to the difficult job market. Employers are receiving such a high frequency of applications for vacant positions that any blemish in your background provides them with good reason to turn you down. “When jobs are scarce and firms are flooded with applications, they are looking for easy ways to screen people out,” said John Quinterno, a labor expert with South by North Strategies in Chapel Hill. “Criminal record? Boom, you’re out.” The number of expungements granted each year has nearly tripled since 2000. In the past decade, more than 76,000 people once charged with a crime have been given a clean slate, the News & Observer of Raleigh reported Sunday. People whose charges are dismissed or acquitted by a jury are automatically eligible for an expungement and offenders under 18 convicted of a misdemeanor or those up to 20 convicted of certain alcohol-related offenses are also eligible. Sen. Doug Berger pressed for years to expand the expungement law to young offenders. “At this age, their reasoning is not sound,” said Berger, a Youngsville Democrat and former prosecutor. “If they had been treated like a child in court, like they are in other states, they could start anew. But, in North Carolina, we’ve let this past mistake follow them around for the rest of their lives.” In a time when many are unemployed and looking for work, applicants are ensuring they do anything and everything to improve their chance of getting hired. One mistake as a youth can have a devastating effect on an individuals later life – through expunging records, North Carolina is providing thousands of people with a second chance.]]>
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