If you are living with a criminal record, you may wonder who is aware of your conviction.
Such uncertainty can cause a great deal of 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 also prevent you from being accepted into a school. You may even be denied a loan as a result of your criminal record.
Hudson County Expungement Lawyer Scott Gorman understands the dilemma you are facing, and can help you put your past behind you so that you can get a second chance. In New Jersey, our Legislature has created a mechanism that allows many people to conceal information relating to arrests even if the arrests resulted in convictions. 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.
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 instance, a criminal conviction cannot be expunged when the conviction touched upon the petitioner’s public office or public employment. In addition, if the petitioner was convicted of another criminal offense that occurred prior or subsequent to the criminal conviction at issue, the petitioner would be ineligible to have a criminal conviction expunged. Convictions of 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. As a prerequisite to obtaining an expungement pursuant to the “public interest” exception, 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 let a prior arrest or conviction unnecessarily stand in your way. Call Hudson County Expungement Lawyer Scott Gorman today to discuss how you can obtain an expungement and fresh start.