When someone commits a crime, they may receive a criminal record as a result of their actions. Criminal records require harsh penalties that can affect an individual for the rest of their life. The state of New Jersey understands that this impact can make it hard for people to get jobs, housing, education, and loans. Because of this, New Jersey gives those with a criminal record the opportunity of expungement, as long as they qualify for it. Expungement allows crimes and misdemeanors to be erased from an individual’s criminal history. When this happens, it can only be accessed by particular law enforcement agencies. It is important to seek the help of an experienced attorney if you wish to expunge your criminal record.
Expungement Laws in New Jersey
Expungement gives people a clean slate to rebuild their lives. It can clear a person’s record of criminal activity and let them start fresh. New doors for an individual’s future can open when their criminal history is erased from their record. The state of New Jersey put new laws into effect as of October 2018. These laws prohibit employers from discriminating against those applying for a position if they expunged their criminal record. The new law also involved the following changes:
- Speeding up certain expungements
- Increased the number of convictions that may be expunged from a record (now up to 4 offenses)
- Shortened the waiting period to expunge a record (now 6 years)
Those who wish to expunge their record have to meet the criteria. New Jersey only allows individuals to expunge certain crimes from a record. Very serious and extreme crimes cannot be expunged from a person’s record. This may include crimes such as murder, robbery, kidnapping, arson, sexual assault, or perjury. Individuals found distributing or in possession of controlled substances cannot expunge their record either.
Expunging a record can be a long and complex process. It requires definitive guidelines to be followed and paperwork to be filed. When someone hires an attorney to help with the expungement process, they must provide the attorney with all records of their crime. Other requirements of the process may include:
- Filing the Petition for Expungement
- Filing the Order for Hearing
- Filing the Expungement Order
- A written cover letter explaining the documents being filed
- Providing copies of these files to other governments involved in the case
- Attending the hearing
Contact our Firm
If you or someone you know is looking to expunge their record, contact the Law Office of Michael A. Policastro today.
If you have been charged with a crime in New Jersey, it is essential to retain the quality legal services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact the Law Office of Michael A. Policastro today to schedule a consultation so we can discuss your situation.