Living with a Criminal Record? Contact a Bergen County Expungement Lawyer.
A criminal record can stand in the way of your landing a job or obtaining a professional license. Your criminal record can prevent you from being accepted into a school. You may be denied a loan as a result of your criminal record. Bergen County 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.
One way to protect yourself from the lifelong stigma attached to a criminal record is by having your record expunged, which the state of New Jersey allows in certain cases. If you qualify, your record can be cleared or expunged, leaving you with a clean background on court records and reports. However, the state’s requirements are strict when it comes to expungements and they regulate who can and cannot receive them. In addition, the process involves a great deal of paperwork and deadlines that need to be handled carefully and precisely. Contact The Gorman Law Firm to learn how we can help you with your case.
Successfully Petition for an Expungement with the Help of a New Jersey Defense Attorney
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 “Public Interest” Exception to Expungements in New Jersey
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.
Although many agencies like the New Jersey State Police, the Attorney General’s Office and the county probation divisions retain criminal records, expunged records can be extracted and isolated so the public cannot view them. This blocks your criminal conviction or arrest record from public access and keeps it from showing up on a background check.
With the help of expungement attorney Scott Gorman, you can file an expungement petition with a Superior Court judge. The petition is a legal document that is submitted with a filing fee, and once filed, the petition can be distributed to the appropriate agencies so that they can raise any objections and ultimately extract your criminal records. Once the records are removed from public view, you are able to check “no” on any application that asks about criminal history.
Are You Eligible?
In New Jersey, only criminal records and juvenile records can be expunged. These offenses must have occurred in the state. A New Jersey judge cannot order other state agencies and jurisdictions to remove a person’s criminal record. Also, any convictions involving motor vehicle records — drunk driving, speeding, and other traffic violations — cannot be expunged.
Eligibility for expungement depends on what is on your criminal record and how many convictions you have and how much time has elapsed since your matters were resolved. Certain crimes cannot be expunged at all.
If you were charged with criminal activity or arrested in connection to a crime, but the charges were dismissed, you can typically apply for expungement immediately. If you successfully completed Pretrial Intervention or a different diversionary program to have your charges dismissed, you have to wait for six months before petitioning for an expungement.
Find Out If You’re Eligible for Expungement by Contacting The Gorman Law Firm
Don’t allow a prior conviction unnecessarily stand in your way. Call New Jersey criminal defense lawyer Scott Gorman today to discuss how you can obtain an expungement and a second chance. Call our Hackensack or Morristown locations today or complete our online form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.