How Long After a Conviction Can I Expunge a Criminal Record in NJ?

The penalties that come with an arrest and conviction for a criminal offense can have a negative impact on your life, but the penalty that tends to affect lives the most is the inclusion of the crime on a criminal record. Having a crime on your record can affect your ability to gain access to certain opportunities, such as a lease on an apartment or a job. Luckily, it is possible for criminal records to be expunged in some cases in New Jersey.

If you are a New Jersey resident who is trying to get a crime expunged from your record, get in touch with an expungement attorney as soon as possible. Atlantic City criminal record expungement lawyer Joseph Lombardo can assist people with the entire expungement process, from filing paperwork to attending hearings. Contact him today to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss clearing your record so that you can move forward toward the future you deserve. Call (609) 445-4300 to learn more.

The Waiting Period for Expungement After Conviction in NJ

After a conviction in New Jersey, you will have to wait to have the charge expunged from your record. To be eligible for an expungement, at least five years must have passed since whichever of the following happened most recently: your conviction, your last payment of restitution, the end of your parole or probation, or the completion of your jail or prison sentence.

To be eligible for expungement, there cannot be any current charges against you, you cannot have any record of indictable crimes or felonies in any other state, and you cannot have more than two previous offenses. The crime you are trying to expunge must also be eligible; certain crimes, such as terrorism and child pornography, cannot ever be expunged. DWI/DUI charges are also unable to expunged in New Jersey.

How Expungement Works in New Jersey

In New Jersey, expungement follows a specific process that includes filing an expungement petition and attending an expungement appearance. It’s important to note that there are limitations on the type of crimes that can be expunged and which parties will have access to knowledge of the expungement.

The New Jersey Expungement Process

The process of expungement in New Jersey begins with a lawyer obtaining copies of your criminal record. You may be able to get the records from the courthouse yourself; otherwise, a lawyer will help you write to the court to get them. Once you have the records, a lawyer will help you draft your expungement petition, which you will sign in front of a public notary. The petition will then be filed with the county courthouse.

After the petition is filed, you and your lawyer will receive a copy of the filed petition back from the court. Copies of the petition will also be served to applicable government agencies. Then, a judge will assign a hearing date. You only have to attend the hearing if the judge has an objection to your expungement. If the judge objects to your expungement, it does not mean that your petition was completely denied; it only means that you and your lawyer must prove that your crime is eligible for expungement.

Crimes Eligible for Expungement in New Jersey

In New Jersey, there are two types of crimes: disorderly persons charges and indictable crimes, which are misdemeanors and felonies, respectively. Indictable crimes are more severe and include things that are directly harmful to other people. Most, though not all, indictable crimes are ineligible for expungement in New Jersey. Crimes that cannot be expunged include robbery, arson, homicide, kidnapping, human trafficking, criminal sexual contact, endangering the welfare of a child, perjury, terrorism, and conspiracy. DWI charges are not felonies in New Jersey but are still not able to be expunged.

Limitations on Expungement in New Jersey

Your eligibility for expungement depends on the number of prior convictions you have. To expunge an eligible felony, you must have no prior felony convictions and no more than three misdemeanor convictions on your record. However, there is an exception to this rule known as the “crime spree” exception. According to the crime spree exception, you can expunge an unlimited amount of misdemeanors or felonies if the convictions were made under a single judgment or the offenses were committed within a short amount of time.

Access to Your Criminal Record After Expungement

After a crime is expunged from your record, you will not be required to tell potential employers about the crime. However, you will still be legally required to disclose the crime to certain groups: law enforcement agencies, court systems, correctional departments, and the United States military.

Expunging Juvenile Crimes

Crimes committed as a juvenile require shorter waiting times before they can be expunged. Petitions to expunge juvenile arrests that do not result in an adjudication of delinquency can be filed at any time. A juvenile must, however, wait five years to expunge their record following a misdemeanor and ten years following a felony.

Criminal Expungement Lawyer Serving New Jersey

Consult with an experienced New Jersey criminal expungement attorney today if you are trying to clear your record of crimes committed in the distant past. New Jersey expungement lawyer Joseph Lombardo has years of experience helping people just like you to clear their names and move on with their lives. Call the Lombardo Law Group, LLC, today at (609) 445-4300 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your options.

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Haddonfield (Main Office)
25 Chestnut Street, Ste 2
Haddonfield New Jersey 08033
(856) 281-9600
(877) 340-0609
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Hammonton, New Jersey
(609) 561-8100
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1014 Atlantic Avenue
Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401
(609) 318-6196
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