When a person commits a crime in New Jersey, they can receive a criminal record. This can impact their life in many ways, which is why the state offers some individuals in these situations the opportunity to expunge their record. This means crimes and misdemeanors can be erased from their record, as long as they qualify. When a record is expunged, it can only be viewed by certain law enforcement agencies. To learn more, continue reading and reach out to an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney.
Expungement Laws in New Jersey
Expungement offers those with a criminal history the chance to have a clean slate in order to get their lives back on track. When a record is erased, it can open new doors for the individual’s future. In 2019, a new law was passed, called the “Clean Slate” expungement law. Taking effect on June 15, 2020, this law made major changes to the state’s expungement process. This can include the following:
- Convictions for drug-related offenses will be considered convictions for disorderly persons offenses, for expungement purposes. This means if an individual can have up to five drug offenses expunged.
- Expedited expungement and sealing of certain marijuana offenses.
- The waiting period before getting an expungement has been lowered from six to five years.
- Dismissals in both municipal court and Superior Court that are not part of a plea deal will be automatically expunged.
- A system will be created where all criminal offenses, except ones that are non-expungeable, will be automatically removed from a person’s record after 10 years, even if they are convicted of multiple indictable offenses.
- Elimination of the expungement filing fee.
Who Can Have Their Record Expunged?
New Jersey only allows people to expunge certain crimes from their record. Major crimes, such as murder, robbery, kidnapping, arson, sexual assault, or perjury, cannot be expunged from a record. In addition to this, those who are found distributing or in possession of controlled substances cannot have this crime expunged either.
What is the Process?
Expunging a record can be a long and complicated process. Requirements must be met and paperwork must be filed. When an attorney is hired, they must be provided with records of the individual’s crime. Other requirements of the process may be:
- Filing the Petition for Expungement
- Filing the Order for Hearing
- Filing the Expungement Order
- A written cover letter explaining the documents being filed
- Providing copies of these files to other governments involved in the case
- Attending the hearing
Contact our Firm
If you are facing criminal charges in New Jersey, you need strong legal defense. Contact the Law Office of Carl Spector for dedicated representation. With over 30 years of experience as both a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, he offers a unique perspective on how both sides think, and how to best approach each aspect of the case. When your future is on the line, don’t settle for less than the best possible legal representation. Contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney who will aggressively fight for you. Call today for a free confidential consultation. Let our experience work for you.