RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- With bipartisan support, Gov. Roy Cooper signed a bill into law that would allow many people with non-violent criminal pasts the opportunity to have parts of their record expunged.
Senate Bill 562, better known as the Second Chance Act, allows many people with non-violent criminal pasts to have their record expunged if they've gone 10 years with no new charges, served their sentences and paid their fines.
"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," Cooper wrote.
A person who files a petition to expunge their record must pay a $175 fee. The process cannot start until a person's sentence is complete and any restitution is paid.
The bill passed both North Carolina House and Senate unanimously with 119-0 votes and 47-0 votes respectively.
Democrats called it a matter of economic fairness; the bill removes the burden of hiring a lawyer to get the charges removed. Republicans called it a jobs bill.