Expungements in New Jersey
- The Benefits of Expungement
- Elegibility Requirements / Disqualification
- The Expungement Order
- The Expungement Procedure / Beginning the Process
- Cost of Expungement / Legal Fees
- Expungement Interview Form / Request a Quote
- 2010 Expansion to the Expungement Statute
- Juvenile Delinquency and Young Drug Offenders
- Federal Expungements
- Examples of expungements obtained (opens in a new window)
- The complete New Jersey Expungement Statute (.pdf file)
Anyone arrested and charged with a criminal offense in state of New Jersey will soon find out that they have difficulty obtaining a job and getting credit. They will face embarrassment whenever anyone runs a background check. A criminal conviction may result in being barred from government employment or prevent getting a job as a teacher, nurse, securities broker or any job that requires a security clearance or professional license. Even where charges were dismissed, a conditional discharge was granted, or a the pre-trial intervention (PTI) program was successfully completed, there is still a record of arrest. This record may require you to make embarrassing explanations to prospective employers, lenders, or spouses.
In January 2010 the New Jersey Legislature expanded the eligibility for expungement. The new law permits expungement for certain persons who were not eligible under the old law and relaxes certain time limits. The changes permit you to apply for an expungement:
* If you have a felony conviction more then 10 years ago and are otherwise eligible, but, did not pay all of your fines, you can apply for an expungement if you have substantially complied with a payment plan or can show compelling circumstances why you did not do so.
* If you have a felony conviction and at least 5 years have expired from the date of your conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later; and you have not been convicted of a crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense since the time of the conviction; and the court finds in its discretion that expungement is in the public interest, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense, and your character and conduct since conviction, an expungement may be granted.
* If you have a conviction for the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance or possession with intent to sell, expungement shall be permitted where the conviction is of the third or fourth degree and where the court finds that expungement is consistent with the public interest, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense and your character and conduct since conviction.
Expungement applications under this new law will be more difficult then if you qualify under the normal statute. We will have to supply documentary evidence to the court of your character and what you have accomplished in terms of education, employment, family responsibilities, and community involvement, since the date of your conviction. The court may require you to appear for a hearing if it feels it necessary.
The Superior Court of New Jersey has the authority to expunge the record of a criminal arrest or conviction in the state of New Jersey. Once the court enters an expungement order the offense is deemed never to have happened. The person may legally respond to any questions asking whether they have ever been arrested, convicted, or charged with a crime or disorderly persons offense, with the answer of “NO.” A criminal background check will come back with “NO CRIMINAL RECORD FOUND.” The only exceptions are applications for a job as a law enforcement officer or in the judicial branch of government. The expunged offense must also be revealed when applying for another expungement or a diversionary program.
The first step of the expungement process is to file a petition in the superior court. This petition is then served on each court and police department involved in the arrest and the county prosecutor and attorney general. The court generally schedules a hearing within 60 days of the filing of the petition. At the hearing the court determines whether all eligibility requirements have been met and all procedural and notification requirements have been satisfied. If everything is satisfactory and no governmental agency objects, the court will enter the expungement order. The order is then served on all of the governmental agencies who are directed to remove the case from their records. The New Jersey state police will generally delete the records from their computer within 30 days of receipt of the order. The state police then reports the expungement to the federal computer system maintained by the FBI, known as the NCIC, which then removes the records from the NCIC system.
Beginning the Process
Telephone us at toll free at (800)883-6047 or contact us to discuss your situation personally with an experienced expungement attorney. If you would prefer you can click here and fill out our expungement interview form to provide us with complete information.