Joseph A. Lombardo
If you have a record that is keeping you from pursuing career opportunities, securing lines of credit, or causing other issues, you may benefit from the process of record expungement that is offered selectively throughout New Jersey. To file a petition for record expungement, the government charges a relatively small fee.
However, the real cost of petitioning for record expungement comes if you make a mistake. Submitting a flawed petition can mean waiting months to hear back, only to discover that you need to start the time-consuming process all over again. Utilizing legal representation is the best way to avoid this unfortunate outcome.
You can start the process of expunging your record today by calling one of the dedicated Atlantic City criminal defense lawyers at Lombardo Law Group, LLC today at (609) 418-4537. Call today to get your first case evaluation for free.
Are There Fees for Getting a Record Expunged in New Jerseys?
The only actual fee that you will have to pay to the New Jersey government in order to pursue record expungement is a filing fee. The cost to file a petition for expungement in New Jersey is $52.50. This does not include the cost of mailing your petition if you choose the paper route as opposed to e-filing, which is also an option.
If you have any outstanding balance from fines that were assessed during an earlier conviction, you will need to make payment on this balance in full before filing for expungement. Depending on the type of conviction, the waiting period for petitioning for expungement may not begin until the entire fine is paid, so it is important that this is taken care of as soon as possible to avoid delays in the expungement process or a rejected petition.
When you submit your initial forms as part of your petition for expungement, you will attach a money order or certified check for the filing fee of $52.50 and submit it with the two copies of your petition to the court clerk where you are petitioning. The check should be made out to “Treasurer, State of N.J.”
The fee is non-refundable, even if your petition is denied or rejected because of ineligibility or mistakes. Before you spend any of your money on the expungement process, it is important to make sure that your petition is completed accurately and that you meet all of the eligibility requirements.
Who is Eligible for Record Expungement in New Jersey?
In order to apply for expungement in New Jersey, you must wait a certain amount of time. For criminal convictions in New Jersey, the earliest that you could potentially seek expungement is five years after the completion of the sentence for the original conviction. It may also be harder to expunge offenses where there was more than one offense of the same crime or in the same area.
Not every type of offense can be expunged from the record. If a petitioner was convicted of a criminal offense involving any of the following areas, an attempt to petition for expungement will likely be automatically denied:
- Criminal homicide (not including automobile accidents)
- Kidnapping Human trafficking
- False imprisonment
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Criminal sexual contact
- Child pornography
- Child endangerment
If you are unclear about whether you are eligible for expungement in New Jersey, reach out to an experienced Linwood, NJ criminal defense attorney to get clarity on your situation before spending time, money, and energy on filing your petition.
Why Do You Want a Lawyer to Get Your Record Expunged in New Jersey?
Technically, you do not need the help of an attorney to proceed with the record expungement petition process in New Jersey. However, this process is a complicated one with serious stakes, and there are a number of reasons why you will want legal counsel to help you through it.
The petition forms for expungement are complex and require a significant amount of detail. If any of these details are wrong, the petition will likely be rejected, forcing you to start all over again. Unfortunately, delays in the system mean that you may only learn about your mistake and rejection six to eight months after you initially submit your petition. Even if you are able to identify and fix your mistake, you will have to wait another six to eight months to hear back again. This is a substantial amount of time that many petitioners cannot afford.
To file a successful petition, the information on the forms must be filled out correctly, but it must also be sent to each of the required recipients. Of course, you must mail copies to the court where you are petitioning for expungement, but you must also mail copies to all of the following locations:
- Attorney General of New Jersey
- Superintendent of New Jersey State Police, Expungement Unit
- Clerk of the Municipal Court (if a Municipal Court handled your original case)
- Chief of Police at department that handled your original case
- Warden of any institution where you served time
- County Prosecutor
- County Probation Division (if you participated in any probation or community service as part of your sentence
In fact, depending on the nature of your record that you are attempting to expunge, you may actually be required to submit your petition to more than just those listed above. You can benefit from the experience of a Mays Landing criminal defense attorney in getting your petition to all the places that it needs to go.
Call Lombardo Law Group, LLC to Get Your Record Expunged in New Jersey
When you call the experienced Camden County criminal defense attorneys at Lombardo Law Group, LLC today at (609) 418-4537, you can get a free initial case evaluation on your record expungement petition.
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