Raleigh Drug and Underage Alcohol Offenses

It is a felony offense in North Carolina to possess any amount of:

  • Cocaine
  • Ecstasy
  • Heroin
  • Other hard drugs

Most first time offenders charged with underage alcohol possession or misdemeanor drug possession are able to successfully earn a dismissal of the charge upon successfully completing a diversion program. The diversion program usually consists of attendance in a drug or alcohol education class. Upon dismissal, a record of the charge can be expunged from the offender’s record.

Benefits of Expungement

When a record is expunged, a person’s criminal record is cleared. It is as if the individual had no criminal record at all. Under these circumstances, someone can complete various applications without admitting to having any criminal record. Such applications include, among others:

  • Employment applications
  • Rental applications
  • Loan applications
  • School admissions applications

Types of Expunctions

In Wake County, the five types of expunctions are:

  • If someone is younger than 18 years old, has been convicted of a misdemeanor, but has not been convicted of another crime, he or she may request an expunction. The person requesting the expunction, however, must wait at least two years after he or she was convicted before filing the request.
  • Certain first-time drug offenders may petition for an expunction if they were younger than 21 years-old at the time they committed the offense.
  • Persons charged with an infraction, a misdemeanor, or felony offense for identity theft can petition for expunction if their charges were dismissed or they were found not guilty.
  • If someone was 19 or 20 years old and he or she was charged before Dec. 1, 1999, with an infraction for buying alcohol and has no previous records of committing a felony or receiving an expunction, this person may request an expunction if the charges were dismissed or a not guilty verdict was found.
  • Anyone charged with a crime may seek an expunction if they have no previous conviction for a felony, have never had a record expunged and were either found not guilty or if charges were dismissed.

In a few instances, a person receiving felony charges for the first time for drug-related offenses can have these offenses diverted by successfully completing a drug education program and community service. Only first-time offenders possessing small amounts of the drug are eligible for these diversion programs. This is a great way for someone to keep their record clean.