Definition of Expungement in New Jersey
A criminal charge and conviction on your record can hold you back in life and prevent you from getting the job you want or even into the school you prefer. Not to mention there is the stereotype and embarrassment that comes with it when people find out you have a criminal record. However, in New Jersey the law allows for most offenses to be expunged, including juvenile offenses, municipal ordinance violations, misdemeanors, or felonies. An expungement will not only make it easier for you to find a good job but it will allow you finally put your past behind you and start fresh. William Proetta Criminal Law is a criminal defense firm that is dedicated to all stages of criminal and municipal court defense including the expungement of records. We represent clients throughout New Jersey including Union County, Hudson County, Middlesex County and Monmouth County. Contact us today for a free consultation with an expungement attorney at (908) 838-0150.
What is an Expungement and How Does it Work?
An expungement is when all records on file within any court, correctional facility, law enforcement or criminal justice agency concerning a defendant’s charges, apprehension, arrest, detention, trial or conviction of an offense are removed from public record and isolated. Pursuant to 2C:52-1 the records that can be expunged include complaints, warrants, arrests, commitments, processing records, fingerprints, photographs, index cards, “rap sheets” and judicial docket records. Removing all these documents from public record effectively erases any trace of the crime or charges. In New Jersey, your eligibility for an expungement, the number of expungements you are allowed and the period you must wait before a record can be expunged all depend entirely on your criminal overall record and the type of underlying offense. The waiting period begins after the sentence imposed upon the defendant is completely carried out – this at the completion of a prison sentence, probation, or parole – whatever comes last. If all the requirements are met, an attorney can file a duly Verified Petition with the Superior Court in the county where the offense took place. New Jersey laws allows for indictable expungements, disorderly persons expungements, drug expungements and expungements for municipal ordinances.
Records of Arrest and Conviction Are Removed
In New Jersey, when an order of expungement of records of arrest or conviction is granted by the court, all the records specified within the order will be removed from the files of all the agencies which have them on file and they will be placed in the control of a person who has been designated by the head of each such agency which, at the time of the hearing, possesses said records. That designated person will then insure that all these expunged records or the information contained therein are not released for any reason and are not utilized or referred to for any purpose. If someone requests any expunged information or records of the person who was arrested or convicted, all noticed officers, departments and agencies must reply, with respect to the arrest, conviction or related proceedings which are the subject of the order, that there is no record of the information just as if it never happened. The only institution privy to the information is the government.
Expunging a record can often times be very complicated and difficult and takes the help of an experienced lawyer. At William Proetta Criminal Law we will handle all the paperwork and filing from start to finish, making your entire expungement as easy a possible. Contact us today at (908) 838-0150 for a free consultation with an expungement lawyer and learn more about how we can help you.