Benefit of a New Jersey Expungement Lawyer
A criminal record can prevent you from living the life you deserve, regardless of its age or the seriousness of the underlying offense. The benefit of a New Jersey expungement lawyer is that they can help reopen the doors that your criminal record has closed. Work with a qualified criminal defense attorney and know that you are in capable hands.Impact of a Criminal Record
A criminal record can limit your ability to access or obtain all the following:
- Occupational licenses
- Firearm rights
- Recreational licenses
- Business licenses
- Government contracts and program participation
- Government loans and grants
- Government benefits
State and federal laws bar individuals with certain criminal records from accessing many of these benefits and opportunities. But even where that is not the case, most private employers and many public entities are free to deny those benefits and opportunities solely based on an arrest or conviction record. The benefit of a New Jersey expungement lawyer is that they can work tirelessly to clear someone's name and protect their rights.How Can Expungement Help?
One of the benefits of a New Jersey expungement lawyer is that they can determine whether someone’s criminal record is eligible to be expunged and file a petition in state court to have that record sealed away from the view of employers, landlords, and others. In addition to sealing a criminal record, expungement provides the following benefits:
- Arrest, conviction, and other proceedings are deemed never to have occurred
- A person may deny the existence of criminal history when asked about it without penalty
- Official agencies must respond to any inquiry about your expunged history that no record exists
- Limits disqualification or discrimination when seeking to obtain most government licenses
Under N.J. Stat. § 2C:52-6, most arrests not resulting in conviction, acquittals (not guilty verdicts), and cases dismissed through deferred adjudication must be expunged upon request. There is no limit on how many times a person may expunge such records.Conviction Records
Expungement of conviction records is available for many indictable offenses (felonies) and disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanors) pursuant to N.J. Stat. §§ 2C:52-2 and -3. But, unlike non-conviction expungement, a court may deny a request for conviction expungement if the need for the availability of the record outweighs the desirability of having a person freed from any disabilities that result from the conviction.
As a general matter, a person may only have one indictable offense and up to three disorderly persons offenses expunged their lifetime.
A person’s indictable offenses may be eligible for expunction following a 10-year waiting period (may be reduced to five years under certain circumstances) as long as there are no pending charges, no prior or subsequent indictable offense convictions, and no more than two disorderly person offense convictions on their record. Particularly serious and violent offenses are ineligible for expungement.Disorderly and Petty Disorderly Person Offenses
For disorderly and petty disorderly person offenses, charges may be eligible for expungement after a five year-waiting period (may be reduced to three years under certain circumstances), so long as there are no pending charges, no more than one prior or subsequent indictable offense conviction, and no more than two other disorderly person offense convictions on their record.
The following dispositions may also be eligible for expungement subject to less stringent eligibility requirements: low-level drug convictions for offenses committed at age 21 or younger, drug court cases, and juvenile delinquency adjudications.Value of Working With a New Jersey Expungement Attorney
The benefit of a New Jersey expungement lawyer is that they can help you navigate the nuances of New Jersey’s complex laws to determine whether your particular criminal history may be expunged.
An experienced New Jersey expungement attorney can stand by you through every stage of the process – from filing your petition to making the case for expungement in court. You deserve a second chance, and a lawyer can help you attain it.