Life with a criminal record can be challenging. Whether you are looking for a job, hoping to buy a gun, applying for a professional certification or to get into school, a criminal record can make each of these things more difficult—if not impossible. However, through an expungement you may be able to wipe your criminal record clean. At the Law Offices of Leon Matchin, our knowledgeable New Jersey expungement attorney can help you understand whether you’re eligible for an expungement and effectively prepare an expungement petition on your behalf.What Are Expungements?
An expungement is the removal or sealing of all the records on file with the court system and law enforcement pertaining to a person’s conviction. In most cases, those who obtain a New Jersey expungement can legally answer “no” when asked if they’ve been convicted of a crime. This means that potential employers, friends, family members, and educational institutions will never know about a previous conviction.New Jersey Expungement Requirements
While expungements are a great tool for getting a fresh start, New Jersey expungement law is not that easy to navigate. Thus, it is highly recommended that anyone looking to get their record expunged reach out to a lawyer who has significant experience handling expungements.
One of the reasons why expungements in New Jersey are challenging is that there are several different types of expungements, each with different eligibility rules and waiting requirements. Additionally, certain offenses are ineligible for an expungement, such as:
- Luring or enticing,
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI offenses),
- Human trafficking,
- Sexual assault, and
- Certain sex crimes committed against children.
However, generally, petitioners eligible for an expungement if they have one “indictable offense” and up to three “three disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses.” An indictable offense is the equivalent of a felony in other states. Disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses are the equivalent of a misdemeanor in other states.How Long Do I Need to Wait to File for a New Jersey Expungement?
The amount of time you must wait to file for an expungement depends on the offense you are trying to expungement. Generally, you must wait five years from the time you finish serving your sentence for indictable offenses and three years for disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses. Additionally, you must pay all fines and costs before the court will consider your application for expungement.
New Jersey law provides for certain individuals to obtain an Early Pathway expungement, which has a shorter waiting period. However, unlike traditional expungements, Early Pathway expungements require you to prove that granting the expungement is in the public interest. This involves the court considering the nature of the offense, your personal character, and your conduct since the conviction.
Regardless of whether you are seeking a traditional expungement, juvenile adjudication expungement, or Early Pathway expungement, the process can be overwhelming. Thus, those interested in getting their New Jersey record expunged should reach out to an experienced New Jersey expungement lawyer for assistance.Are You Looking for a Fresh Start?
If your criminal record is holding you back, you may be able to clear your record by applying for an expungement. At the Law Offices of Leon Matchin, our New Jersey criminal defense attorney has a detailed knowledge of the state’s complex expungement laws and has successfully helped countless clients through the process. We offer free consultations to all prospective clients, during which we will answer your questions and explain the process in clear and understandable terms. That way, you know exactly what to expect. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a New Jersey expungement lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Leon Matchin at (732) 887-2479. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.