South Jersey Expungement Lawyers
In New Jersey, if you have been arrested or convicted for any non-traffic offense then you will have a criminal record and history. Your criminal record may be a hindrance to you when you go to apply for jobs, or for licenses, or even for loans. Fortunately, there is a legal process known as an expungement. An expungement means that your criminal record is sealed from public view, it is important to note from the outset that your criminal record is not destroyed, but is simply erased from the state’s criminal case management database. An expungement is in many ways an opportunity for a fresh start, as a properly executed expungement order will remove not only a record of conviction, but will also remove any record as it pertains to an apprehension, arrest, trial, or judgment entered by the court. If you are granted an expungement then all your records pertaining to the offense on file with the court, detention center, and correctional facility will be removed from New Jersey’s criminal case management database, which in turn is reported to the FBI for similar removal.
What are the benefits of having an Expungement?
The process to have your criminal record expunged is by no means easy, nor is it short, however, those who have struggled with their criminal past and have had their records expunged will tell you that the wait is worth the benefits. Some of the biggest benefits of having your record expunged include:
• Jobs – It is fairly common for an employer to conduct a criminal background check before they hire an applicant. Those with a criminal record will tell you that they find that they are often turned away from jobs that they are qualified for merely because they have a criminal history.
• Licenses – Certain professions such as contractors, attorneys, doctors, and even real estate agents require a state-issued licenses. While you must still disclose that you have a criminal record to the respective licensing agencies, if you have been granted an expungement by the court then these licensing agencies will more likely be willing to issue you a state license than if you did not have your record expunged.
• Satisfaction – One of the biggest complaints those with criminal records will share, is that they feel that they are being constantly punished for their crimes long after they have served their time in prison, or went through rehabilitation. An expungement is a way for those with criminal records to have more closure with their past.
There are many other benefits of having an expungement order granted. Those applying for loans or home mortgages often find that their criminal history is a reason they are denied. An expungement is a way for many people to continue on with their life, to look for better jobs, and to put their past behind them.
What Offenses can be Expunged?
The first step in seeking to have your record expunged is for you to find out if your past does, in fact, qualify for an expungement. The New Jersey expungement law states in detail who is eligible for an expungement. You should review the currently applicable provisions of N.J.S.A. 2C:52-1 through N.J.S.A. 2C:52-32 provide that the following can generally be expunged from a person’s criminal record:
• Indictable offenses
• Disorderly persons offenses
• Municipal ordinance violations
• Juvenile delinquency offenses
• Young drug offender records
• Arrests no convictions
An expungement is intended to provide “relief to the one-time offender who has led a life of rectitude and disassociated himself with unlawful activity.” That is why many of these offenses are considered to be non-violent and or regulatory.
What offenses cannot be Expunged?
Unfortunately, not every criminal offense can be removed from a person’s criminal record. This is often the first step in the expungement process, because it is important from the outset to determine if you can even qualify for an expungement:
• Criminal homicide (except death by auto as specified in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5)
• 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)
• Arson and related offenses
• 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
• False swearing
• Conspiracies or attempt to commit such crimes.
While many have called for more expansive expungement laws, currently the abovementioned offenses cannot be expunged from your record.
If You’re Seeking Help With Your Criminal Record, Contact an Atlantic City Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
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.