Find out everything you need to know about expungement procedures at the Law Offices of Elliot S. Stomel, P.C. in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. There are many types of records that can be expunged, all of which are described below.
What is an Expungement?
In New Jersey, an “expungement” is a procedure that provides for the extraction and isolation of all records on file within any New Jersey court, law enforcement agency, and detention or correctional facility concerning a person’s detection, apprehension, arrest, detention, trial or disposition of an offense within the State’s criminal justice system. The actual record is not literally “erased.” It is, however, made generally unavailable to people doing public records searches through the Courts, law enforcement agencies, and even the FBI.
What records can be expunged?
Previously, a person convicted of a crime, who had not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime, and who had not been adjudged a disorderly person or petty disorderly person on more than two occasions, could apply for expungement relief 10 years after the date of conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever was later.
The expungement statute was amended in 2010 to permit the expungement of indictable offenses after 5 years if (1) the person had not been convicted of a crime, disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense since the time of conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever was later; and (2) the Court found in its discretion that it was in the public interest, given the nature of the offense, and the applicant’s character and conduct since conviction. This requirement has been a major undertaking, and has required something more than merely showing that the Petitioner has remained arrest-free.
The most recent amendment to the expungement statute (effective April 18, 2016) contains significant changes. Under the previous law, a person convicted of both an expungable crime and up to two disorderly persons offenses could get the criminal conviction expunged, but not the disorderly persons convictions. Under the new law, a Petitioner can now get expungements for both the crime and the disorderly persons convictions as well.
Disorderly Persons Offenses and Petty Disorderly Offenses: Previously, a person who had been convicted of no more than three disorderly or petty disorderly offenses and no crimes could file a petition for expungement five years after the completion of the most recent disorderly persons sentence. A person convicted of a crime or more than three disorderly persons offenses served as a disqualification.
The new law permits the expungement of disorderly persons offenses after only three years if the Court finds that that the expungement is in the public interest given the nature of the offense, and the applicant’s character and conduct since conviction. As indicated above, this requirement is a major undertaking, and will require something more than merely showing that the Petitioner has remained arrest-free. Please call the Law Offices of Elliot S. Stomel for more information on “early pathway” expungements
A person found guilty of violating a municipal ordinance, who has not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime, and who has not been adjudged a disorderly person or petty disorderly person on more than two occasions, may apply for expungement relief two years after the date of conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or release from incarceration, whichever is later;
A person adjudged a juvenile delinquent may have such adjudication expunged if the act committed by the juvenile would have constituted a crime, a disorderly or petty disorderly persons offense, or an ordinance violation if committed by an adult and: (1) Five years have elapsed since the final discharge of the person from legal custody or supervision or five years have elapsed after the entry of any other court order not involving custody or supervision.