Recent changes to the Expungement Statutes are designed to shorten waiting periods and expand eligibility for expungements. Disorderly person’s offenses are those which had been handled in Municipal Court. Crimes are those addressed in Superior Court. Before an expungement complaint is filed, it is necessary to have an official Criminal Case History.
This will identify the Applicant’s history of crimes and offenses for which he/she has pled or been found guilty.
One Time Limit: There is a one-time limit on a person receiving an expungement involving any criminal conviction. There is a one-time limit for receiving an expungement for multiple disorderly persons offenses, which convictions were entered the same day because the convictions consisted of a one-time “crime spree”. Certain convictions cannot be expunged. These are criminal homicide, kidnapping, luring, sexual assault crimes, criminal restraint, false imprisonment, robbery, arson, endangering the welfare of a child and other serious convictions.
Eligibility: Sale, Distribution, Possession with Intent, Marijuana & Hash, special eligibility to young drug offender under 22 years of age.
With respect to criminal convictions for the sale, distribution, or possession with intent to sell marijuana or hashish, the statue amends the expungement law to establish general expungement eligibility for low-level offenders consistent with how such an offenders’ crimes are graded under the State’s Criminal Code. This consistency would also apply to a young low-level offender (younger than 22 years old) who is granted special eligibility to make an expungement application after one year from the date of the convictions, termination of probation or parole, or discharge from custody, whichever date is later in time. Eligibility will be extended to all such convicted offenders when the crime is graded as a crime of the fourth degree, based on the amount of the drug as follows:
This is particularly helpful to a young offender who needs a clean record for his/her future.
Concerning the expungement of one or more criminal convictions, the statute sets forth the following categories of eligible persons:
The new expungement statutes have expanded the convictions eligible for expungement.
If a person with one or more criminal convictions is eligible as described above for expungement relief, the expungement application may generally proceed so long as one of the following time period requirements is met:
As expressed in the statute, the term “fine”, in reference to measuring any applicable time period requirement for determining the satisfaction thereof, means and includes any fine, restitution, and other court-ordered financial assessment imposed by the Court as part of the sentence for the conviction, for which payment of restitution takes precedence in accordance with applicable law.
An expungement does not guarantee that the record will entirely disappear. The expunged records do not disappear. They are filed differently and not available for routine inquiries. If the offense was reported in the media or on the internet or your relatives and people know about it, it does not go away. If a person is running for public office, it is likely that a prior arrest and convictions will be exposed; however, for many purposes, such as getting a job where no security clearance is needed, getting into college, it is helpful to have the criminal record expunged.