Am I Eligible for an Expungement?
Once you have a criminal conviction on your permanent record, you can experience many roadblocks. For example, many employers do not want to hire someone with a criminal record and landlords may not want to rent apartments to individuals with convictions. Drug convictions can result in ineligibility for scholarships and even arrests may have an effect on your educational and professional licensure opportunities. In short, a conviction can follow you around for a long time.
Fortunately, the law in New Jersey gives certain individuals with certain convictions the right to have their record expunged. An expungement isolates qualifying information regarding a crime from the rest of your record and puts that information in a separate file, which can only be accessed by law enforcement and similar authorities. Records of the following may be expunged:
- Investigative reports
- Arrest and detention
- Photos (mug shots)
- Criminal complaints (charges)
- Convictions and other court records
Law enforcement and prosecutors will still be able to locate and review this information if they need to know prior convictions for charging purposes (whether to charge as a repeat offender), to determine eligibility for diversion programs, and other similar circumstances. However, landlords, potential employers, and educational institutions will not be able to access the expunged information.
Who is Eligible for an Expungement?
There are specific criteria for an individual to have a crime expunged, including the following:
- It has been ten years since you completed your sentence — this can mean release from jail, completion of probation, or payment of a fine.
- You have no other convictions for indictable crimes either before or after the conviction you want to have expunged.
- You have had no more than two convictions for disorderly persons offenses.
- If you have had more than two convictions for disorderly persons offenses, you can appear before the court to demonstrate these convictions do not indicate continuous criminal activity.
The requirements for an expungement can be complex, so it is always best to have an experienced NJ expungement lawyer review your case.
Consult with an Experienced New Jersey Expungement Attorney Today
If you are wondering whether you can have your criminal record expunged, you should not wait to discuss your specific case with a lawyer who fully understands expungement laws and procedures in New Jersey. At the Law Offices of Steven H. Fleischer, LLC, we have assisted many people with having their records expunged and their names cleared. Please call for a free consultation at 908-231-0052 to find out how we can help.