Criminal Division


Criminal Division Tel: (252) 504-4444

The Criminal Division of the Carteret County Clerk’s office is located on the first floor of the Old Courthouse (with the dome or cupola on top).

The Criminal Division administers felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions.

The following are some frequently asked questions regarding the operation of The Criminal Division (scroll down for more information):
  • Traffic tickets
  • Driving While Impaired cases.
  • Criminal bail bonds & bond forfeitures.
  • Closed traffic/criminal misdemeanor cases
  • Criminal Record/background checks
  • Continuances
  • Payment of Court Fees
  • Missed Court Dates 
  • Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Issues
  • Victims and Witnesses
  • Expungement process.


Open Traffic Tickets. Click here for traffic ticket information.

Driving While Impaired Cases. Due to the extremely serious nature of this charge and its potential consequences, it is recommended that all initial paperwork is retained and carefully read. DWI is a mandatory court appearance. There is no set fine or court cost to pay off this type of charge. If there was a failure to appear and the DWI is several years old, this mandatory court appearance is still required.

Criminal Bail Bonds, Property Bonds and Bond Forfeitures. Any bond that is $5000.00 or higher will require a deed of trust, promissory note, a title opinion, and a tax statement. The Clerk of Court's Office cannot prepare these documents and you must consult with a licensed attorney to have them prepared. If the property is out of county, you will still need to have a Clerk’s certificate from the county where the property is located. If the property is in more than one name, then both parties must appear in person to sign before the Clerk. All paperwork must be presented by 3:30 pm to the Clerk of Court in order to ensure proper processing.

Criminal Record \ Background Checks. Click here for information.  

Continuances. Please call the District Attorney’s Office if you need a continuance before your court date. On many serious types of cases a continuance may only be obtained in front of the judge on your scheduled court date.

Payment of Court Fees. Payment for your case in court is due the day of court unless special arrangements are made with the Judge. If your court fees are not paid the day of court, additional fees will be assessed.

Missed Court Dates. If a court date is missed, you will be called and failed and an Order for Arrest may be issued, depending on the type of case. Twenty days after a failure to appear (FTA), DMV is notified and an additional fee is added on to the case. The FTA fee is currently $200.00 (subject to change).

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Issues. DMV will suspend driving privileges if issues are not resolved and there has been either a failure to appear or a failure to comply (pay monies). Notices are sent to the licensees about a month after the failure to appear or comply. These notices give the date of suspension as well as the case information. Notices are sent to the address DMV has on record, so it is important to notify DMV of any address changes. Once payment/disposition is received in our system, DMV is notified electronically of compliance. However, this is not an immediate process. It is a good practice to take our receipt to DMV to show compliance if resolving a matter in the last days before a scheduled suspension. Cases are closed out in the criminal computer system in the order they are received. Your case will not be closed out first because suspension is imminent.

Limited Driving Privileges. Forms are available on the AOC Judicial Forms Search Page. Read the paperwork carefully. Please contact an attorney for any questions, concerns, or advice regarding the privilege. Once the privilege is approved by a judge it must be certified by staff in the Criminal Division, and a fee paid.

Victims and Witnesses. The District Attorney's Office represents victims of crimes. Victims and witnesses subpoenaed by the State need to contact the District Attorney's Office for instructions or concerns. Contact the Victim/Witness Legal Assistant at (252)504-4500.

Expungement Process. Petitions for expunctions are filed and processed by the Clerk’s Office. Not all charges in North Carolina are eligible for expunction. Expunction requests vary based on the charge, type of disposition, and the defendant’s age. Some requests require additional affidavits and documentation. The court fee for an expunction depends on the type being filed. While the Clerk’s Office can provide you with the petition for expunction, they are not able to advise you on how to complete it. Forms can be accessed from the AOC Forms Search Page. For any inquiries regarding eligibility, documentation, process, including help with forms, you will need to contact an attorney.

Resources: 

Understanding the Criminal Court Process (Información para comprender el proceso en los tribunales penales en el Estado de Carolina del Norte) en Español