Governor Pat McCrory signed S.B. 233 into law today. The law will provide for the automatic expunction of certain records of a person when the charge or charges against the person are dismissed as a result of identity theft or mistaken identity. Although similar legislation has been passed and introduced in other states, North Carolina is the first state to sign the legislation into law.
“I am so proud of North Carolina for stepping up and passing legislation to confront this problem,” Governor McCrory said. “I hope other governors across the nation will follow our lead to defend the rights of those wrongfully charged with committing a crime.”
S.B. 233 was inspired by Durham native Charles Belk who in August 2014 was mistakenly identified as a suspect in a bank robbery in Beverly Hills, C.A. He was handcuffed, detained, taken to the policy station, booked, denied a phone call, denied being told his charges, denied immediate access to an attorney, jailed for six hours for Armed Bank Robbery and Accessory to Armed Robbery and held under a $100,000 bail.
Although he was released later that night and given a Detention Certificate which indicated he was detained and not arrested, an arrest record appeared on the Sheriff’s website and a state legal process had to be followed to get the arrest record sealed and destroyed.
Under current law, North Carolina will expunge certain offenses from a person’s criminal record in cases of identity theft. S.B. 233 goes a step further and includes “mistaken identity” as well. This applies when a mistake has been made in identifying who committed the crime, or when a witness or law enforcement officer has been given misinformation on the person who committed the crime.
In cases of identity theft or mistaken identity, if the conviction is set aside or the person is found not guilty, there is an automatic process for expunction of all court records, law enforcement records, DMV, and adult corrections records.
The law goes into effect December 1, 2015.
The bill was sponsored by Senators Floyd McKissick, Stan Bingham and Warren Daniel.
Governor McCrory Signs 26 Bills into Law
Governor Pat McCrory has signed the following bills into law.
H.B. 134 – A bill to exempt minors from prosecution for solicitation of prostitution in the same manner that they are currently exempt from the charge of prostitution.
H.B. 553 – A bill prohibiting cities and counties from adopting ordinances regulating standard of care for farm animals.
H.B. 562 – A bill amending various firearm laws.
H.B. 774 – A bill authorizing a medical professional other than a physician to monitor lethal injection for death penalty executions and clarify that matters relating to executions are not subject to rulemaking.
S.B. 678 – A bill amending the debt collector statutes to more nearly conform to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
S.B. 679 – A bill making omnibus clarifications and conforming changes to the Consumer Finance Act.
H.B. 607 – A bill requiring a credit card reporting agency to place a security freeze on a protected consumer’s consumer report upon request of the protected consumer’s authorized representative.
S.B. 192 – A bill allowing domestic violence protective orders, civil no-contact orders, and involuntary commitment orders to be transmitted by electronic and facsimile transmission.
H.B. 174 – A bill amending and enhancing certain notice requirements and protections for tenants of real properties in foreclosure and other amendments to the Homebuyer Protection Act.
H.B. 446 – A bill amending the statutes governing bail bondsmen.
H.B. 397 – A bill clarifying that upon conviction for exploitation of an older adult or disabled adult, any seized assets shall be used to satisfy the defendant’s restitution obligation as ordered by the court.
H.B. 383 – A bill recognizing, renaming, and renumbering various sexual offenses to make them more easily distinguishable from one another as recommended by the North Carolina Court of Appeals in “State of North Carolina v. Slade Weston Hicks, Jr.,” and making other various changes.
H.B. 185 – A bill making omnibus amendments to obsolete statutes as recommended by the Department of Cultural Resources.
H.B. 229 – A bill modifying the property tax exemption for real property used for religious purposes to include construction phase. The bill also authorizes the holder of a limited driving privilege to drive to and from the person’s place of religious worship.
H.B. 529 – A bill to limit the imposition of an additional period of revocation upon a conviction of driving while license revoked and to make various conforming changes.
H.B. 721 – A bill clarifying the law regarding performance guarantees developers are required to provide to cities and counties to assure completion of required improvements to subdivided land.
S.B. 345 – A bill limiting the period of time a vehicle can be impounded after a collision to 20 days unless a court order provides otherwise.
H.B. 797 – A bill exempting from the definition of public record any registration or sensitive security information received or compiled by a city pursuant to an alarm registration ordinance.
S.B. 182 – A bill regulating the use by law enforcement agencies of automatic license plate reader systems.
S.B. 183 – A bill eliminating confinement in response to violation for misdemeanants sentenced under Structured Sentencing, as recommended by the North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Committee.
H.B. 638 – A bill directing the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in cooperation with the Wildlife Resources Commission, to encourage wetland mitigation practices supportive of public recreation and hunting on mitigation sites.
H.B. 186 – A bill requiring the Environmental Review Commission to conduct a study of water resources availability in the Cape Fear River Basin and to permit the Rules Review Commission to retain private counsel under certain circumstances.
H.B. 823 – A bill establishing the Advisory Council on Rare Diseases within the School of Medicine of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
S.B. 82 – A bill ensuring the integrity of birth records presented for registration by requiring Registers of Deeds to clearly mark related documents that are not official birth records.
H.B. 651 – A bill to bar civil actions filed after the period of record retention established under the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice or five years, whichever is greater, and to require appraisal management management companies to accept criminal background checks performed within the preceding 12 months.
S.B. 374 – A bill to repeal the requirement that for-hire coastal recreational fishing licensees maintain a logbook of catch and effort statistical data; study implementation of the logbook reporting provision; require DENR to conduct a 12-month implementation process of the reporting requirement, including forming a stakeholder advisory group; and prohibit the Department of Environment and Natural Resources from entering into a Joint Enforcement Agreement.
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