Raleigh Criminal Defense Lawyer David Coolidge Comments on New Expunction Law, Saying Charges Should be Fought at the Start

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The founder of The Coolidge Law Firm says it is crucial for defendants, especially students, to seek experienced legal counsel when facing felony or other criminal charges in a Wake County court.

Raleigh / Wake County felony defense attorney

Raleigh criminal defense attorney David Coolidge

This new law also highlights the importance of keeping a conviction – especially a felony conviction – from getting on one’s record in the first place.

Raleigh criminal defense lawyer David Coolidge said today that a new North Carolina law allowing criminal records to be wiped clean of many nonviolent offenses after 15 years is no substitute for avoiding conviction at the outset.

“Having a criminal conviction on one’s record can be damaging, especially when it comes to seeking educational or employment opportunities,” Coolidge said. “That’s why expunction can play an important role in people’s lives and why this new law will help.

“However,” the veteran Raleigh criminal defense attorney and founder of The Coolidge Law Firm continued. “This new law also highlights the importance of keeping a conviction – especially a felony conviction – from getting on one’s record in the first place. This is particularly true for students and young people who are just starting out in the working world.”

A new North Carolina law (S.L. 2012-191) that became effective in December allows expunction of nonviolent felonies or nonviolent misdemeanors 15 years after sentences are completed for people who have had no other convictions for felonies or misdemeanors over that period.

Several offense are excluded from the new law, including severe offenses (Class A through Class G felonies and Class A1 misdemeanors), offenses involving assault, offenses requiring registration as a sex offender and certain drug offenses.

“Expunction is an appropriate way to help people who have turned their lives around after a criminal conviction,” Coolidge said. “But 15 years is a long time to wait to start your life over if you don’t have to.”

For instance, Coolidge explained, students convicted of crimes can face sanctions that include expulsion from their schools and loss of government-provided financial aid.

“Anyone charged with a crime should immediately seek the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can aggressively pursue alternatives to a conviction and work hard to protect their rights,” Coolidge said.

About The Coolidge Law Firm

The Wake County criminal defense attorneys of The Coolidge Law Firm provide skilled, experienced and aggressive legal representation to those throughout Raleigh, Cary, Garner, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, Morrisville, Knightdale and other communities in Wake County and its surrounding area who have been charged with felonies, misdemeanors and traffic offenses. The firm’s practice areas include DUI / DWI, traffic violations, drug possession, sex crimes, student crimes, theft, robbery, violent crimes, domestic violence and probation and parole violations. The firm also represents those in criminal matters involving habitual felon status, motions for appropriate relief (MAR) and expungement. The firm’s office is located at 2501 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 250, Raleigh, NC 27607. To learn more about The Coolidge Law Firm, call (919) 239-8448 any time of day, any day of the week or use the firm’s online form.

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