Wednesday, 10 June 2020 19:08

Brewer praises passage of Second Chance Act

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RALEIGH — Those convicted as teenagers could have their criminal records expunged, depending on the severity of the charges, as long as Gov. Roy Cooper signs the Second Chance Act into law.


The N.C. House of Representatives passed the bill unanimously Wednesday, following full approval from the state Senate on May 8.

According to the text of the bill, the individual convicted or the district attorney of the county that person was convicted can file a petition for expunction of any misdemeanors or Class H or I felonies committed prior to Dec. 1, 2019 if that individual was between the ages of 16 and 18.

There are a few exceptions, those being: violation of motor vehicle laws, including impaired driving; or sex offenes against a child, whether or not that individual was required to register.

A petition can’t be filed until all active sentences, probation or supervised released periods have been served and/or there are no pending restitution orders or civil judgements.

According to Rep. Scott Brewer’s office, the bill has been “supported by advocates for justice and prosecutors across our state.”

“As I’ve listened to activists over the past weeks, it’s become apparent that we need meaningful criminal justice reform in our state,” said Brewer, D-Richmond. “I was happy to vote for the Second Chance Act today because it will be a significant step towards equity for minority communities and for people living in poverty.”

Sen. Tom McInnis also supported the bill’s passage in the Senate.

“For too long, our criminal justice system has disproportionately made it harder for poor people and people of color to be able to overcome minor criminal charges,” continued Brewer, a former assistant district attorney and district court judge. “Too many people in our communities are unable to get a house or a job or basic economic opportunity because of past criminal charges on their record. The Second Chance Act does just that – it removes these hurdles and provides people a second chance to succeed. It allows those who have worked hard to turn their lives around and get the second chance they deserve.”