What Has Changed in New Jersey Expungement Law
In December of 2017, Governor Chris Christie signed into law bill S-3307, which made changes to New Jersey expungement law. Expungement is the process in which the court system removes all records of a convicted offense or juvenile record. The purpose is to offer those convicted of non-violent crimes a way to erase their record, start over, and gain employment. Expungement laws have been on the books in New Jersey and other states for many years. Recently calls have been made across the country to reform and loosen those laws. New Jersey has taken a few steps to do just that.
One main goal of this update was to increase the number of people that could petition the court for an expungement. Doing so meant changing the restrictions on types and number of convictions. The new law increased the amount of petty or misdemeanor offenses you can have expunged from 3 to 4. It also increased the number of felony offenses from 2 to 3. Of course, those offenses have to meet specific, non-violent categories. Lastly, it eliminated the restriction on the expungement of PTI convictions. These are convictions assigned as a result of a Pre-Trial Intervention. Those convictions are no longer protected from expungement and can be erased from your record.
The time period that you must wait for expungement has been decreased from 10 years to 6 years. Again there are specifications that go along with this change. As before, all elements of your conviction must be completed, such as time served or fines paid. With the new updated language, however, if you can prove inability to pay the assigned fine, as long as payments required to the victim have been met, you can seek expungement. If all requirements have been met, there is a chance to expunge your conviction in as little as five years. The hope in this change is that not only will more people apply for expungement, but now those people can try sooner than before.
There are many intricacies to expungement policy, and everyone’s situation is different. If you want to know how the new laws apply to your criminal record, give the Law Office of John Lannelli a call today to discuss the changes. We want to help you get over the stigma that comes with a criminal record so you can get a job and contribute positively to society. The updates have given us many useful tools to change the way we look at clearing criminal records. Let us help you navigate how these changes to New Jersey expungement law affect you.