Despite common thoughts to the contrary, an Order of Expungement from a court in New Jersey does not mean that a prior conviction is completely erased from the government’s files. Instead, it is a process where a prior conviction and other associated documents, including a complaint, fingerprints and photographs are removed and isolated from the records of all law enforcement agencies in the state of New Jersey. Notably, there are certain exceptions where this information may be disclosed.
The principal purpose of New Jersey’s Expungement Statute is to provide a remedy to a first-offender who has violated certain specifically defined criminal statutes, where that offender has later established an extended history of crime-free activity.
New Jersey’s Expungement Statute applies to serious crimes, disorderly persons and petty disorderly offenses, as well as juvenile delinquency offenses and municipal ordinances. As explained, certain criminal convictions are excepted from the statute, including convictions for homicides, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, arson, perjury, and conspiracies or attempts to commit these crimes.
In addition, the Expungement Statute in New Jersey imposed certain time criteria before an application for expungement may be filed. Some of the time constraints associated with an expungement application follow: (1) indictable offense conviction 10 years from date of conviction, payment of fine, completion of probation or parole or release from prison, whichever is later; (2) disorderly persons conviction (5 years from date of conviction, payment of fine, completion of probation or parole or release from prison, which is later; (3) drug conviction for an offender who is 21 years old or younger (1 year from date of conviction, payment of fine, completion of probation or parole or release from prison, whichever is later); (4) municipal ordinance conviction (2 years from date of conviction or sentencing, whichever is later); (5) arrest without convictions (6 months after the Order of Dismissal or Acquittal).
Frank T. Luciano is a local criminal defense attorney who will fight for your second chance. If you are interested in having a previous crime expunged or are curious about your eligibility, you are encouraged to contact Mr. Luciano’s law office at anytime at 973-471-0004.