If you are living with a criminal record, you may wonder who is aware of your conviction. Such uncertainty can cause anxiety and embarrassment. Worse still, your criminal record can stand in the way of your landing a job or obtaining a professional license. A criminal record can prevent you from being accepted into a school. You may be denied a loan as a result of your criminal record.
Expungement lawyer Scott Gorman can help you put your past behind you and get a second chance. In New Jersey, our Legislature has created a mechanism that allows many people to conceal information relating to arrests, in many cases, even if an arrest resulted in a criminal conviction. If you are eligible for an expungement, Scott can help you obtain a court order that would enable you to deny that an arrest, criminal proceedings, or a conviction ever took place, in all but a few limited circumstances. In fact, when records relating to an arrest have been expunged, if a person who is aware of the expungement discloses information relating to the expunged records, that person can be convicted of a disorderly persons’ offense.
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Most criminal convictions can be expunged after ten years have elapsed since the later of the completion of probation or parole, release from incarceration or payment of all fines. However, to successfully petition for an expungement, petitioners must demonstrate that they are not otherwise disqualified from obtaining the expungement. For example, a criminal conviction cannot be expunged when the conviction touched upon the petitioner’s holding of a public office or public employment. In addition, one prior or subsequent criminal conviction will prevent a person from obtaining an expungement of a criminal conviction. Two or more disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons’ adjudications will also serve as a bar to the expungement of a criminal conviction.
The purpose of the statutory scheme regarding expungements is to assist certain individuals in putting their past transgressions behind when they can demonstrate that they have been rehabilitated and that they are not perpetual offenders. In furtherance of this policy, in 2010, the Legislature created a “public interest” exception to the expungement requirements to allow for the expungement of criminal convictions prior to the ten-year period referenced above if granting an expungement would be in the public’s interest. In order for the “public interest” exception to apply, a petitioner must prove that at least five years have elapsed since the later of the petitioner’s completion of probation or parole, release from incarceration, or payment of fines and that the petitioner has not been convicted of any crimes, disorderly persons’ offenses or petty disorderly persons’ offenses in the interim. Next, the petitioner must show that the expungement would be in the public interest, taking into consideration the nature of the offense and the petitioner’s character and conduct since the conviction.
Don’t allow a prior conviction unnecessarily stand in your way. Call Scott Gorman today to discuss how you can obtain an expungement and a second chance in Hackensack, Morristown and Bergen County.