What are the new Expungement laws in New Jersey?

A lot of change has occurred this year. For example, this November, 68% of New Jersey residents voted in favor of legalizing marijuana. Some other important changes to note include New Jersey’s updated expungement laws. Read on to learn more about the changes that have been made to NJ’s expungement laws in 2020.

What is Expungement?

Expungement allows one to seal a criminal record. This means your criminal record would only be accessible to certain members of law enforcement. This can make it much easier to do things like getting a job. It essentially allows you to move on with your life, without your record following you. That being said, some crimes cannot be expunged. Crimes that cannot be expunged include:

  • Murder
  • Kidnapping
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault
  • Robbery
  • Arson
  • Perjury
  • Distribution, sale, or possession with intent to distribute controlled substances

What are the New Expungement Laws?

The updates that have been made to New Jersey’s expungement laws are as follows:

  • Several marijuana-related convictions will now be considered disorderly persons offenses rather than criminal convictions when it comes to expungement.
  • If you have received an unrelated conviction prior to your most recent conviction, you may be able to have the most recent conviction expunged.
  • You now only have to wait 5 years from the date of conviction to request an expungement, rather than the previous minimum of 6 years.
  • “Early pathways” expungements will now be reduced to 4 years after conviction, as long as the applicant can provide “compelling reasons” for the expedited expungement.
  • You can now have up to five disorderly persons penalties expunged from your record.
  • The “clean slate” expungement will now allow individuals to expunge all expugnable offenses 10 years after their most recent conviction.

What is the Process of Expungement?

In New Jersey, the expungement process is as follows:

  • File the Petition for Expungement, the Order for Hearing, and the Expungement Order
  • Write a cover letter detailing all of the documents the court will file
  • Distribute copies of these files to any government agency that was involved in your case
  • Attend the hearing to obtain a decision on the expungement petition

If you or a loved one has a criminal record and is interested in expungement, contact a criminal defense attorney today.

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.