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New Jersey Expungement Lawyers
Everyone has things in their past that they are not proud of, however, almost nothing haunts a person like having a criminal record. Having a criminal record or history keeps many people in dead-end jobs, lower quality housing, and with few options for personal advancement. Fortunately, there is a legal device known as an expungement which can help those who have a criminal record clear their past.
At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, we have been helping New Jersey residents expunge their criminal histories and move on with their lives. With over 45 years of combined experience, we bring our professional services to you, so that you can move on from your past and expunge your criminal record. The experienced and dedicated criminal defense lawyers of the Law Firm of John J. Zarych can guide you through each and every step of the expungement process.
What is an Expungement?
When a police officer makes an arrest, that person will then have a criminal record detailing their arrest and perhaps subsequent conviction of a crime. A criminal record can follow a person for years, and many people find that having a criminal record in today’s competitive job market makes it almost impossible for them to find a job. Others report that it is harder for them to find housing, as many landlords will deny them on the basis of their criminal history. Having to deal with a criminal record in almost every part of their lives is often why people want to have their record expunged. An expungement is a way for certain criminal acts to be effectively erased from your criminal record, meaning that they will not show up if an employer or landlord runs your criminal history. While expungement cannot be used for all criminal offenses, there are many New Jersey criminal offenses, which can be expunged.
However, while it is possible to have some criminal offenses in New Jersey, it does not mean that the process is easy. The process includes complicated forms and paperwork, and an application.
What Offenses can be expunged?
The New Jersey Expungement statutes provide that only certain offenses can be removed from a criminal record. The Expungement statutes N.J.S. 2C:52-2-32 provide that the following can be expunged:
• Indictable offenses • Disorderly persons offenses • Municipal ordinance violations • Juvenile delinquency offenses • Young drug offender records • Arrests no convictions
However, you cannot automatically have a record expunged. In fact, there is a significant waiting period for certain offenses, such as some indictable offenses which will require that a person waits at least ten years before they are eligible to have their record expunged.
Are there Convictions That Cannot Be Expunged
The New Jersey Expungement statutes also provide for certain offenses that cannot be expunged from a person’s criminal history. These include:
• Criminal homicide (except death by auto as specified in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5) • Kidnapping • Human trafficking • Luring or enticing • Sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault • Aggravated criminal sexual contact • Criminal sexual contact (if the victim is a minor) • Criminal restraint or false imprisonment (if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim) • Robbery • Arson and related offenses • Terrorism • Producing or possessing chemical weapons, biological agents, or nuclear or radiological devices • Endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct that would impair or debauch the morals of the child or cause the child other harm • Photographing or filming a child in a prohibited sexual act • Causing or permitting a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act • Distributing, possessing with the intent to distribute, or using a file-sharing program to store items depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child • Possessing or viewing items depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child • Knowingly promoting the prostitution of the actor’s child • Perjury • False swearing • Conspiracies or attempt to commit such crimes
While there have been recent changes to the expungement laws which have made it easier for New Jersey residents to have their records expunged, the above offenses cannot be removed from your criminal record.
What are the Benefits of an Expungement?
Having a criminal record can haunt you for years, and it can seem that having a criminal history can impact almost every facet of your life. That is why many people begin the process of having their criminal record expunged, or at least begin to ask if they can have their record expunged.
• Getting a job – Having a criminal history can greatly impact your career and can hinder or altogether halt your job search. Most employers will conduct a background search before they offer employment, and have a criminal history can impact whether or not an employer will hire you. If you successfully have your record expunged, then you can truthfully answer no to any employment questionnaire that asks if you have been convicted of a crime eligible for expungement.
• State licenses – Many licensing agencies will require a background check before you can be given a license, such as a contractor’s license. It is important to note that even after an offense has been expunged from your record, you would still be required to disclose your record. However, many agencies who award licenses will consider your records expunged and any other completed probation program as a positive factor towards awarding you a license.
• Personal satisfaction – Perhaps one of the benefits that a person can derive from having their New Jersey Criminal Record expunged, is a sense of personal satisfaction. Many of those who have a criminal record report that they feel a sense of continuing guilt for their past even years after they have served their sentence and gone through probation. These feelings can be even greater when a person has been a model citizen since their offense.
There are many other collateral benefits of having your record expunged, however, the process if not always easy. Many people report that starting the expungement process on their own is filled with questions and anxiety as they try to file all the proper paperwork. Working with a skilled criminal attorney who has experience helping New Jersey residents expunge their criminal records is one of the best ways to expedite the process, and to ensure that you can start the process of having your criminal history erased.
Seeking An Expungement? Rely on the Experience of Our Atlantic City Criminal Defense Lawyers
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 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.