Radford, VA asked in Criminal Law for North Carolina

Q: I was charged with possession of cocaine, less than a gram 20 yrs ago I went to court was told it would be dropped if

I completed probation. I did everything right . I just found out I have a felony record what can I do

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1 Lawyer Answer
Philip J. Clarke III
Philip J. Clarke III
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Morehead City, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Not disputing what you have said, but it is often difficult to remember all the details of something like this that happened 20 years ago. It could be that you did not fully understand how the case was being handled, or it could be that some detail was not attended to with the probation, or a communication problem somewhere in the process. Did you have an attorney? If not, that could be a helpful factor. If so, he might have a record of the case. In some situations such a conviction could be vacated by a judge now due to problems with how the case was handled 20 years ago, if those problems can currently be demonstrated. With a felony, even after this length of time, there should be some records of the conviction (the plea agreement and the judgment, etc.), so that approach might be worth pursuing. You would need to hire a lawyer who could review the paperwork in the court file and perhaps find such a problem and then file a motion to correct the error.

But depending on your criminal record (sounds like you have no other felonies), and the actual charge you pled to, this conviction might be one that you could have expunged, eliminating that felony record. Your age at the time is significant. Have you been convicted of misdemeanors since then? Any drug convictions?

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