If you have been convicted of a crime, there is a good chance you feel its ramifications on a daily basis. Whether you are applying for a job, a school, or housing, you are almost always asked if you have a criminal record. However, if you are someone who has since turned his or her life around, you may be eligible for expungement, where your record will be cleared. This is a breath of fresh air for many people who have been convicted of a crime. Here are some questions you may have if you think you are eligible:
How do I know if I am eligible for expungement?
If you have been arrested, there are multiple scenarios in which your record may be expunged. Here is a list of factors that may contribute to your eligibility:
- If you were arrested for a crime but were never convicted, regardless of the crime’s severity.
- You may have up to three disorderly person’s convictions (if you have been convicted of a felony) and four if you have not been.
- Usually, if you are only convicted of one felony, you will be eligible for expungement. However, in some situations, you may have more than one felony and qualify for expungement.
- Juvenile offenses may be expunged after three years.
Generally, there are certain waiting periods for expungement. If you have been convicted of a felony offense, you will be eligible for expungement in five years. Disorderly person’s convictions may be expunged in three years, and dismissals after the diversion program may be expunged in six months. Acquittals or dismissals do not have a waiting period.
Are there certain crimes that cannot be expunged?
Generally, if you have been convicted of a violent felony, you will not be eligible for expungement. Here are some examples of typically ineligible crimes:
- Aggravated sexual assault
- The distribution, sale or possession of a controlled substance
How does the expungement process work?
The state of New Jersey takes the expungement process very seriously, so it is important you hire an experienced, meticulous attorney who will ensure you have all the proper paperwork and documentation needed for your expungement. Your attorney will have to:
- Obtain all criminal records you wish to have expunged
- File the Petition for Expungement, the Order for Hearing, and the Expungement Order
- Distribute copies of these files to any government agency that was involved in your case
- Write a cover letter detailing all the documents the court will file
- Attend the hearing for a decision on your expungement petition
Contact our New Jersey firm
Our firm proudly represents clients in New Jersey who are faced with matters of family law, criminal defense, business law, real estate law, or estate planning. If you require strong and dedicated representation for any of your legal matters, contact The Law Offices of George J. Mardinly to schedule a consultation.