If you’ve been arrested in North Carolina, it is likely you’ve experienced the “booking” process – which invariably involves a wonderfully flattering mugshot. You may also fear that a quick Google search of your name will reveal this shot, turning off future employers, romantic partners, and other connections you hope to make.
Fortunately, in North Carolina, you may be able to have your official mugshot removed so that it no longer serves as a recurring embarrassment. Many websites state that they will delete a mugshot if you can prove your charge was dismissed or expunged.
Proof of Dismissal
This proof is largely straightforward: The North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) database will show your case’s disposition. The Clerk of Court’s Office in most courthouses will be able to pull these records for you by searching by your name. Request a printed copy and present it to the website or company that is propagating your mugshot.
Proof of Expungement
This process is a bit more complicated. Contact the website to see which government agency found and tendered your photo, then contact that agency to provide proof of your expungement. If AOC was the source of the information, contact their Remote Public Access Office by calling 919-890-2220. AOC will likely request a certificate verifying that your charge was expunged.
Once you have this proof in hand, contact the website to request that they remove your photo. North Carolina law requires companies and organizations to take down photos associated with expunged crimes. These groups may be liable for damages if they fail to do so.