Cape May Expungement Attorney
Having a criminal record can complicate many different parts of your life. From applying to jobs to looking for an apartment, applying to schools, and even applying for loans, those with a criminal history will often report that their past seems to never go away.
If you have a criminal record from Cape May and are interested in learning about how you may be able to erase your criminal record, then contact us today. The experienced criminal defense and expungement lawyers of the Law Firm of John J. Zarych are dedicated to fighting for people accused of or convicted of a crime. To schedule a free and confidential expungement consultation call us at (609) 616-4956 or contact us online today.
What is an Expungement in Cape May
An expungement is a court process where all record of your criminal history will be removed from New Jersey’s criminal case management database as well as from the FBI’s systems. An expungement removes your records from public view, as well as from the court, detention center, correctional facility, rehabilitation centers, or juvenile centers as it pertains to your background.
However, an expungement is not an automatic process, and if you have been convicted of an offense there is generally a waiting period before you can have your record expunged. While dismissed cases are eligible for an expungement immediately, with only a limited exception applying to dismissals through a diversion program, other offenses have a longer waiting period. If you were convicted of a violating a municipal ordinance, then you will have to wait for 2 years to have your record expunged. If you were convicted of a disorderly person’s offense then you will have to wait for 5 years before your record can be expunged. Additionally, if you were convicted of an indictable offense then you will have to wait for at least 5 years before you will be eligible to have that offense expunged from your record.
While expungements are often a way for those with a criminal record to leave their past behind them, there is a limit to the total number of convictions that you can have expunged from your record, and there are certain offenses, including motor vehicle offenses, which cannot be expunged from your record.
The Cape May Criminal Expungement Process
While having an expungement order granted is something that can give those with criminal histories a new lease on life, an expungement is a lengthy process. To begin you need to determine if you qualify for an expungement as a variety of offenses cannot be expunged from your record. Under the New Jersey Expungement statute the following offenses can be expunged from your record:
- Indictable offenses
- Disorderly persons offenses
- Municipal ordinance violations
- Juvenile delinquency offenses
- Young drug offender records
- Arrests with no convictions
If your offense fits into any one of these categories then you may begin the expungement petition. A New Jersey expungement petition must list the details and outcome of any and all arrests or court cases you were the defendant in. In addition, your records must list:
- The date of your arrest as an adult or when you were taken into custody as a juvenile.
- The statute(s) and the offense(s) for which you were arrested, taken into custody as a juvenile, convicted or adjudicated delinquent.
- The original indictment, accusation, summons, docket number, warrant number or complaint number. Include all, if more than one.
- The date of the disposition, which could be the date of the conviction or adjudication of delinquency, date of not guilty verdict or date of dismissal.
- The specific punishment or other disposition.
In addition, for an expungement petition to be granted you must also include an Order for Hearing and Expungement Order. However, this above process becomes even more complicated the more serious the offense is. If you have committed a greater offense then you may be required to provide the court with supplemental information in addition to the above documents. This may include transcripts of the original court proceedings, police reports, reports from correctional facilities, and reports from rehabilitation centers.
Even after you have gathered all the paperwork, you will then have to ensure that all of the proper parties receive the paperwork. This may seem like a task that you can do on your way to work by simply dropping a letter in the mail, however, there are multiple parties all of whom must receive the expungement petition including:
- The Attorney General of New Jersey.
- The Superintendent of State Police,
- Expungement Unit.
- The County Prosecutor.
- The Clerk of the municipal court if a municipal court heard the matter.
- The Chief of Police or another head of the police department where the offense was committed or the arrest was made.
- The chief law enforcement officer of any other law enforcement agency of the state that participated in the arrest.
- The Warden or superintendent of any institution in which you were incarcerated.
- The County Probation Division should be provided a copy if you were granted a conditional discharge, enrolled into the Pretrial Intervention Program, enrolled in a juvenile diversion program (juvenile conference committee or intake service conference), granted a deferred disposition, performed community service, owed fines or restitution or you served a term of probation.
- The Division of Criminal Justice, Records and Identification Unit should be provided a copy if your case was processed through the State Grand Jury.
- The County Family Division should be provided a copy if you are requesting the expungement of any juvenile delinquency matters.
Once all of these have been served, you will have to receive a proof of notice from each party before you can go to your hearing. At the hearing, a judge will determine if your expungement petition will be granted.
Let Our Cape May, NJ Expungement Attorneys Fight for You
Filing for an expungement is a technical and multi-faceted process where it is easy to make an error or mistake if you are unfamiliar or uncertain as to the next step. The experienced Cape May criminal defense attorney and expungement lawyer of the Law Firm of John J. Zarych are dedicated to fighting for people accused of or convicted of a crime. To schedule a free and confidential expungement consultation call us at (609) 616-4956 or contact us online today.