Unfortunately, many juveniles tend to go about without regard to the consequences of their actions. As a result, many young people are arrested and charged with crimes. Many of them will go through the juvenile criminal justice system and be convicted for their illegal actions. While the sentencing guidelines in the juvenile system are different compared to adult sentences, they can still lead to difficulties later in life. Do their felonies ever go away? The Atlantic City juvenile defense lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Zarych invite you to keep reading as we answer this critical question.
How Long Does a Sentence Last for a NJ Minor?
Criminal actions are punishable by law, no matter the age of the alleged perpetrator. Although juvenile crimes are treated differently compared to adult crimes, they still carry the potential of severe consequences if convicted. Once a minor has been charged with a crime and placed under arrest, the incident will go to their criminal record. Furthermore, a criminal conviction will also go to their record and remain there for life.
However, a minor can have the opportunity for a second chance, even after being charged, arrested, and convicted. The State of New Jersey allows for expungement, a legal procedure by which the court “seals” a criminal conviction, making it inaccessible to anyone. This means that if your criminal conviction is expunged, no one will be able to look at the details of that conviction. In other words, it’ll be as if your sentence never existed in the first place.
New Jersey allows a juvenile conviction to be expunged and sealed. This means if your son or daughter faced criminal charges as a juvenile and was convicted, they can still have their case sealed through expungement. This is a legal procedure that must be addressed in a court of law.
Getting Your Criminal Record Expunged in New Jersey
Getting your record expunged requires complying with the legal provisions set forth by New Jersey law related to expungement. Generally, this legal process requires the petitioner to meet a set of requirements. As a petitioner, you will need to verify whether you qualify to have your record expunged. N.J.S.A. 2C:52 details the expungement process and how you can find out whether you are eligible for expungement. Among other things, it is essential to understand that this legal recourse is designed to help people with one or very few criminal convictions and lesser offenses, such as an arrest.
Once you have established that you qualify under New Jersey law, you will need to gather all documentation related to your criminal record(s). Your criminal record is essential to obtain an expungement. Keep in mind you will need to convince the court you should get a new start, and your criminal record can help your lawyer establish the most persuasive argument to help get your record sealed.
Once you have everything set up, you will need to file for an expungement with the court. After submitting all the necessary documentation, you will be assigned a hearing date. On the day of your hearing, a judge will generally grant you an expungement, provided you meet all the requirements under the law.
Can Any Criminal Record Be Sealed in New Jersey?
Not every criminal record can be expunged. There are several lesser crimes, such as disorderly person offenses, that can be expunged. However, these offenses must meet specific requirements. For instance, a disorderly person offense can be expunged if at least five years have passed and you have met all the requirements of your sentence, including the payment of any fines. Additionally, you cannot have any pending charges against you, and you cannot be charged with an indictable crime. If you do not meet these requirements or have more than three offenses in your record, you may miss your chance at having your record expunged.
If you committed a severe crime or an indictable crime in New Jersey, you may not be able to have your record expunged. Some of the crimes that cannot be expunged include aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault, homicide, robbery, and other indictable crimes. A skilled, experienced criminal defense lawyer can guide you through the entire process and fight to get your criminal record expunged.
Criminal Defense Lawyers Offering Free Consultations in New Jersey
If you or a loved one was charged with a disorderly person offense or petty disorderly person offense in New Jersey, you may be able to have your criminal record expunged. The New Jersey criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of John J. Zarych can help you throughout the entire process and fight aggressively to get you a new start. Don’t let a criminal conviction take over your life; turn to the help of our skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyers. To discuss your case in a free, confidential consultation with one of our knowledgeable lawyers, call our law offices today at (609) 445-3533.