Following a conviction and even after an unsuccessful appeal, our Ocean County criminal defense firm receives many inquiries from new clients seeking information about how they can get the record expunged from their criminal background. If you meet the requirements, expungement allows you to have an arrest or conviction removed from your criminal record, so it is no longer public record.
Recently, New Jersey enacted a new expungement law that came into effect on October 1, 2018. This law reduced the waiting period for seeking an expungement in certain cases and increased the amount of disorderly persons and indictable offenses an individual can expunge. Here are the top things you should know about getting an expungement in New Jersey. If you have specific questions about your criminal record or need help with the expungement process, call our expungement lawyers in Point Pleasant, NJ today at (848) 238-2100.
How Long Do I Have to Wait Before I Can Get an Expungement?
Under New Jersey’s new expungement law, if you were adjudicated delinquent for an offense as a juvenile, you can apply to have your record expunged after just 3 years, a decrease from the 5 year wait period previously in place. Adults convicted of an indictable offense, which is equivalent to a felony in other states, can apply for an expungement after 6 years instead of 10 years. In other words, you previously had to wait 10 years from date of your conviction, release from prison, probation, or latest date that your case was resolved, before you could remove a felony conviction.
How Many Felony Convictions Can I Expunge?
New Jersey’s new law allows those convicted of multiple felonies arising from one “crime spree” to expunge more than one indictable offense. Typically, an individual can only expunge one indictable offense, but the new law creates an exception when multiple indictable offenses were committed in closely related or interdependent circumstances, as a sequence of events within a short period of time, or if the convictions were issued in a single judgment.
Keep in mind that certain indictable offenses cannot be expunged including DWI, criminal homicide, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, kidnapping, endangering the welfare of a child, human trafficking, luring or enticing, certain drug offenses, terrorism, robbery, perjury, arson, and abuse of public office.
Can I Apply for an Expungement if I Still Owe Fines?
If you fulfill all of the requirements to obtain an expungement but still owe restitution or a fine ordered by the court in connection with your conviction, the court can grant the expungement with the condition that you pay the restitution or fine, or enter a civil judgment for the amount owed, and grant the expungement. This is a special circumstance that wasn’t previously allowed but is best handled by a knowledgeable attorney.
Can I Get an Expungement With a Conviction and PTI Dismissal?
Pretrial Intervention (PTI) allows participant defendants to have the charges against them dismissed if they successfully complete the conditions of the program. Before New Jersey’s new expungement law was passed, individuals who had an indictable offense dismissed upon successful completion of PTI were prevented from having a conviction for a disorderly persons offense or an indictable offense expunged. This was formerly known as the “PTI bar.” As of October 1, 2018, this bar has been removed.
Get Rid of Your Criminal Record With Help From Attorneys Serving Toms River, Brick, Jackson, Point Pleasant, & Manchester
Overall, New Jersey’s new expungement law makes it easier and more expeditious for individuals with a past criminal conviction to clear their name and move on with their life. If you would like assistance in determining your eligibility for an expungement in New Jersey or would like to file for an expungement, contact our team of experienced expungement lawyers today. We would be happy to review your case, determine your eligibility under New Jersey’s new law, and help you to navigate through the process.