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Criminal Record, Sentence Changes Among New N. Carolina Laws

New laws are taking effect in North Carolina to help more people convicted of lower-level crimes and nonviolent drug trafficking get their records cleared or punishments eased. The “Second Chance Act” and “First Step Act” are among nearly a dozen state laws approved since 2019 by the General Assembly and taking effect fully or partially on Tuesday. The First Step Act allows a judge to deviate from mandated prison sentences and hefty fines for drug-trafficking convictions if several conditions are met. The Second Chance Act expands upon other criminal expunction options approved in recent years. Other new laws address delivery robots and occupational licensing.