Everyone makes mistakes. In New Jersey, you may have the chance to erase the record of some arrests that would affect you for years to come. Under New Jersey law, you must have been acquitted of a crime to be eligible for expungement. Even if you weren’t convicted, an arrest will stay on your record until you get it expunged. If granted by the court, expungement is a process that removes and isolates records of arrests, probation, and anything related to a minor crime from databases that employers, schools, housing officials, and other authority figures may access to check your past. The record will still technically remain but will only be accessible to law enforcement and other cleared parties.
How to obtain an expungement
To be eligible for expungement in New Jersey, you must have been acquitted of the crime. The crime must have been a misdemeanor. Felonies and other serious offenses are not eligible for expungement. If you were convicted of a crime and the charges were later dropped, you could be eligible for expungement of the arrest and conviction. Further information about eligibility for expungement can be found under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-1 through N.J.S.A. 2C:52-32.
The process of expungement
In order to start the process of expungement, you need to prepare and file a Petition for Expungement with the Superior Court in the county where the arrest or prosecution took place. The Superior Court judge assigned to your case will schedule a hearing through an Order for Hearing. Based on your eligibility, a judge will then decide if you deserve an Expungement Order. The Petition for Expungement, the Order for Hearing, and Expungement Order will have to be filed with any government agency that was involved with your case. After the hearing, you must distribute the finalized expungement order to all of the same government agencies. Though it sounds simple enough, the expungement process is complicated and document-heavy. Having the right representation to take care of the paperwork properly is recommended.
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.