Gov. Cooper signs ‘Second Chance Act’; allows low-level criminal offenses to be cleared from record

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Gov. Roy Cooper has signed legislation that will allow more people to get their criminal records cleared of lower-level criminal convictions and dismissed charges.

The NC Senate gave unanimous approval on June 16 to the β€œSecond Chance Act,” which had the backing of groups across the political spectrum.

The Second Chance Act automatically expunges the records of innocent people and allows non-violent offenders to petition for expungement after a period of good behavior.

The legislation builds upon recent laws that allow people who committed crimes due to youthful indiscretions to remove obstacles in background checks for employment, housing and other needs.

Lawmakers say this is a step in the right direction, with more work still to be done to build an equal and just system.

“We can give people who make amends for past mistakes the opportunity to clear their records. This bill offers that opportunity and a path to good jobs and a brighter future,” said Cooper.

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