Criminal record, sentence changes among new North Carolina laws

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — 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.

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