Expungement of a criminal arrest, criminal charge or criminal conviction is important because having even a minor criminal record may prevent you from getting certain jobs, getting approval for loans or college acceptance to name a few. An expungement wipes the slate clean and removes any “record.” Our office can quickly process the paperwork to get an expungement Order from the Court.
More and more employers are conducting background checks by paying small fees to companies that specialize in doing that. These companies will find most arrests even if they were many years ago. In addition, criminal charges that were dismissed or successful completion of a diversionary program like a conditional discharge for possession of under 50 grams of marijuana will show up. Prospective employers use background checks to pre-screen and eliminate candidates. So, for example, if there are ten people applying for an open position and three have arrest or criminal records it is easier for the company to just eliminate their application without bothering to look into the details or whether there is a relationship between the job sought and the record.
In New Jersey, in order to be eligible for an expungement it depends on your record and how long ago whatever the event was. N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2 provides what crimes can be expunged and the procedure for getting them expunged.
Convictions for the following crimes cannot be expunged regardless of the length of time since the conviction:
- Criminal Homicide (Except Death By Auto)
- Aggravated Sexual Assault or Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact
- Human Trafficking
- Criminal Sexual Contact if the Victim Was a Minor
- False Imprisonment
- Arson and Related Offenses
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child
- Causing or Permitting a Child to Engage in a Prohibited Sexual Act
- Selling or Manufacturing Child Pornography
- Perjury and False Swearing
- Knowingly Promoting Prostitution of the Actor’s Child
- Producing or Possessing Chemical Weapons
- Possession of CDS With Intent to Distribute or Distribution of CDS.
DWI/DUI and any other motor vehicle violations cannot be expunged at any time.
The following chart outlines eligibility for expungement of various records:
|Type of Conviction||Exceptions||Bars to Expungement||Time elapsed since Conviction|
|Indictable (felony)||See Above||conviction of another crime or more than two convictions of same offense||10 years|
|Disorderly Persons and Petty Disorderly Persons (misdemeanors)||None||conviction of an indictable offense or two disorderly persons convictions||5 years|
|Municipal Ordinance Violations||None||diversion of criminal charge or conviction of a crime or conviction of more than 2 offenses||2 years|
|Whole juvenile record||serious juvenile charge or adult expungement or diversion||same as exceptions||5 years|
|Drug offenses convictions for young offenders (ages18-21)||offender over 21 at time of conviction or serious distribution||parole or probation violations or previous acceptance into supervisory treatment or other diversion.||1 year|
|Arrests not resulting in convictions||dismissal based on insanity||must be more than 6 months from completion of diversionary program||Immediately|