New laws take effect in North Carolina on December 1 - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

New laws take effect in North Carolina on December 1

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - From laws that wipe away court records, to laws that deal with state pensions for convicted elected leaders, nearly 20 new laws took effect on Saturday.

Lawmakers worked for about a decade to create a law that lets a judge decide wether to erase nonviolent criminal records for good behavior.

Starting Saturday, court records can be erased for a misdemeanor or low-level felony, if the person has had good behavior for 15 years.  According to the North Carolina Justice Center, the law has the power to cleanse the records of tens of thousands of people.

Many argue that it makes it easier for people convicted of nonviolent crimes to get a job and apply for public housing assistance.

Another law stops elected officials, convicted of a felony relating to their actions in office, from receiving state pensions. In the past they were able to get retirement funds.

Another law protects teachers against cyberbullying. It is now illegal to target a school employee. Not everyone is ok with the law. The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina said they will seek plaintiffs for a possible court challenge to change it. The group argues that it threatens the free speech of students.

Copyright 2012 WECT. All rights reserved.

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