New Jersey’s Expungement Process
Having a criminal record can severely impact your future — it may be harder to find a job, get a loan or financial aid or live in certain areas. You can be blocked from voting and owning a gun. Any time you have to disclose your criminal background, you put yourself at risk of judgment, even if you have already served your time in prison or made your restitution and changed your life.
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.
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.
Free Your Future
In the end, having your record expunged can be life-changing. Once your record is cleared, you are free to pursue career opportunities and personal goals without the shame of an arrest or a criminal conviction hanging over your head.
At The Gorman Law Firm, we help those who have paid their debts to society rebuild their lives, starting with evaluating options for expungement. To get started on clearing your record, and living your life fully, contact a Hackensack expungement attorney at The Gorman Law Firm today.