Under New Jersey law, to have an offense expunged from your criminal record means that you can say it never happened. The process of getting this done is referred to as an expungement. There are certain offenses that are not eligible for an expungement under any circumstances, but many offenses are and it makes sense to have your criminal record expunged if at all possible.
An expungement can be important for many reasons, but it is mostly desired to prevent a negative conviction from appearing on a future background check. Nowadays, background checks are required for many jobs, including those within the New Jersey school system. An expungement would make it impossible for a prospective employer to find the record of arrest or conviction and would make it legal for you to write that you were never convicted of a criminal offense on the application form for the job.
Crimes Not Eligible for Expungement
There are certain crimes that are not eligible for expungement. In the event that a person was convicted or pled guilty to the following charges, he or she is not able to have the conviction erased from their records in the following instances: if the crime was criminal homicide (with the exception being vehicular homicide); distribution of CDS (Controlled Dangerous Substances); possession of CDS with the intent to distribute; perjury; endangering the welfare of a child, if the charge stems for child pornography; robbery; criminal restraint; criminal sexual contact with a minor; aggravated sexual assault; criminal luring; and kidnapping.
Traffic violations are not subject to expungement, so neither a DUI or DWI nor traffic tickets are eligible.
How Long Must I Wait to Apply for an Expungement in NJ?
There is a waiting period to request an expungement. For most convictions for eligible indictable offenses, with no additional crimes and no more than two disorderly persons convictions on the record, the standard waiting time is ten years from when the sentence is completed and the fines are paid (see N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2). For disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses, the waiting time is five years provided there aren’t more than two offenses on the individual’s record (see N.J.S.A. 2C:52-3). Under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-4, an individual is required to wait two years before getting a municipal ordinance violation expunged from their record. For arrests that resulted in dismissal of the charges, the record of arrest may be expunged immediately upon application under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-6. For pre-trial intervention and conditional discharge for drug offenses, the individual must wait six months after the dismissal to petition for an expungement. And under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-5, if a drug charge was entered against a person under the age of 21, the wait time is one year. Under new laws effective April 18, 2016, the waiting period may be shorter based on individual circumstances to 5 years for a crime and 3 years for a disorderly persons offense.
Speak to an Attorney About Expungement
If you or a loved one have been convicted of a crime or disorderly persons offense that is eligible for expungement, it is a wise decision to try and have the record expunged. In order to do this, you should contact an experienced attorney from the law firm of Villani & DeLuca in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey to assist you in having your record expunged.
A criminal record can hinder many aspects of a person’s life. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your arrest and conviction in New Jersey, there is no reason to go through life with a criminal record when the potential is there to have the record expunged. Villani & DeLuca’s expungement lawyers can help you. Contact the legal team at Villani & DeLuca today to discuss your eligibility to have your record expunged today!