Expungements

expungements Face it, these days everyone is conducting criminal background checks when you are applying for a job, seeking a promotion or during the normal course of employment. That “dumb move” that you did a while ago, simply will not go away. Your arrest or conviction are easily available for everyone to see in this computer age and certainly can have a negative impact on your reputation. However, after a “waiting period,” for many offenses, you may have the ability to have this “cleared,” isolated, “erased” or expunged from your record. Regardless of how you characterize an expungement, I know that you are looking to have these negative things “removed” from your record and out of the public eye.

What is an expungement?

An expungement is the legal process of “clearing” your criminal record by having negative things that occurred in your past isolated so that they will not be “discovered” during routine criminal background checks. Many of the more common criminal offenses, or disorderly person’s offenses, can be expunged such as: theft, shoplifting, drug possession charges, many of the disorderly persons offenses, township ordinances and arrests. In fact, even some more serious charges, such as, indictable charges and “felonies,” can be expunged from your record. Understandably, this does not include all “felony” charges. Arrests and criminal convictions must meet certain guidelines in order for your expungement to be successful. In every case, for an individual seeking an expungment, they must not be on probation, be serving a sentence or have any new criminal charges pending against them.

I can help you “erase” or expunge your arrest or criminal conviction.

I have successfully represented people in Middlesex County, Mercer County, Monmouth County and Somerset County in expunging records for a variety of criminal matters. Ultimately, I know that when you are completing a job application or are asked if you have ever been convicted of anything, you want to answer “no.” You are also looking to make sure that the negative things in your past, do not show up on a criminal background search. You should note that these criminal record do not magically disappear, rather, they are “isolated” and sent to a special facility for expunged records. There are however, very limited exceptional situations under which an expunged record can be retrieved, but this is rare and normally requires a court order or statutory authorization to do so. In the vast majority of situations once an expungment has been granted, it is isolated and/or “erased” from the general public’s view.

Are you eligible to “clear” your criminal record in New Jersey?

For each offense, there are “waiting periods” before a person is legally eligible to file for an expungement. This waiting period are listed below.

  • For a Criminal Matters, such as an Indictable Crime or a Felony, there is ordinarily a ten year waiting period. The Courts however would consider an application after five years, if there is a showing that granting the expungement is in the public interest. The court refers to this as an “early pathway.”
  • For all Disorderedly Persons Offenses or Misdemeanors, there is a five year waiting period.
  • For all Petty Disorderedly Persons Offenses or Misdemeanors, there is a five year waiting period.
  • For Juvenile Adjudications, there is a five year waiting period, or a period for an equivalent offense, if committed by an adult, whichever is less.
  • For a Municipal Ordinance or Township Ordinance, there is a two year waiting period.
  • For Young Drug Offender Matters (21 years of age or younger when the offense was committed), there is a one year waiting period.
  • For a dismissal following the successful completion of a Diversionary Program, Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI), Conditional Discharge or Conditional Dismissal, there is a six month waiting period.
  • If a matter has been Dismissed or if there has been a Not Guilty finding, there is no waiting period and these matters can be expunged immediately. This also includes matters where there was only an Arrest without any criminal prosecution.
  • For not guilty findings, by reason of insanity or not guilty findings for lack of mental capacity, these matters cannot be expunged.
  • For Final Restraining Orders relating to Domestic Violence matters, these records cannot be expunged as restraining orders are considered civil in nature.

Since I offer FREE consultations on ALL matters, I am here ready to fight for you to help you “clear” your record and your name. I am willing to give your matter the time and attention that you deserve.

Call (732) 321-9100 today for a FREE consultation.

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