Shortened Expungement Timeframe
People make mistakes. Sometimes, those mistakes are criminal in nature and result in the individual being charged and convicted of the crime. Now that individual has a permanent record. However, in many states including New Jersey, individuals who are convicted of having committed certain crimes may be eligible for an “expungement” of the conviction from their criminal record. Expungement is very valuable and helpful to individuals undergoing background checks, applying for jobs, or even applying for professional licensure.
Expungement and Eligibility
The “expungement” progress is one in which the eligible individual’s criminal record is cleared as to a certain crime. The individual must prepare a written application and file same with the Superior Court of New Jersey. First, however, the individual must be eligible for expungement. Some of the factors that determine whether an individual is eligible for expungement include:
- Whether or not the individual was actually convicted
- Whether the conviction was for a felony, a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor), or simply a municipal ordinance violation
- The total number of times the individual has in the past been convicted, if any
- The types of past crimes for which the individual has in the past been convicted, if any
- The date the individual completed his or her sentence, including probation or payment of any fines assessed
- Whether the individual has been previously granted an expungement
The expungement process cannot be completed immediately. Instead of applying the minute after convicted, the individual is required to pass through a waiting period. The length of the waiting period is based on several factors including the classification of crime for which the person was convicted. It is important to note that not all crimes are eligible for expungement.
Changes to New Jersey’s Expungement
Fortunately, a new law signed by Governor Christie will help reduce the waiting period and overall length of the expungement process. Under the new law, the major changes are as follow:
- Individuals convicted of a “disorderly persons offense” will be allowed to apply for early expungement after 3 year instead of 5 so long as they can demonstrate that the expungement is in the “public interest given the [applicant’s] character and conduct.
- Indictable offenses will have waiting periods reduced from 10 years to 5 years. The waiting period will begin from the conviction payment of fine, completion of probation, or release from jail, whichever is latest.
- The new law reforms and simplifies the process for those individuals whose charges were ultimately dismissed.
- Simplification of the expungement process for those individuals with municipal court violations.
Call 856-227-2434 today for a free consultation
If you have been convicted of a crime, you may eligible for expungement. The process of expungement can be complicated and intimidating. Seeking the advice of an experienced criminal attorney can make all the difference in navigating expungement. Call John C. Iannelli, Attorney at Law today at 856-227-2434 for a free consultation.