New Jersey Expungements: Frequently Asked Questions

Approximately seventy million people in the United States have a criminal record, that is nearly one-third of the adult working age population. Many individuals do not realize the long-term consequences of a sentence. Majority of employers, landlords and colleges use background checks to screen for applicant’s criminal records. A criminal record can follow an individual for the rest of their lives. This can limit an individual’s access to employment, education, housing, civic engagement, and public assistance.

 

What is an Expungement?

 

In the United States, certain types of criminal records can be expunged. Expungements refers to the legal process of removing arrest(s) and conviction(s) from an individual’s criminal record as if they never happened.

 

Expunging a record in New Jersey can take several steps. You must follow each step carefully to ensure that your application succeeds and that all of the correct government agencies receive notice of the expungement.

How Do I Expunge My New Jersey Criminal Record?

 

The expungement process begins with you or your attorney obtaining a copy of your criminal record. Then, your attorney will draft the expungement petition. An individual will file their expungement petition along with the required documentation in the Superior Court of the county where the arrest or conviction took place.

 

The Superior Court will assign a judge to your case. The judge will set a hearing date for your petition. You or your attorney will need to serve copies of your documents to the relevant government agencies within a week. These government entities will review your case and issue any objections.

 

If an objection is issued, then you will receive written notice of the objections, you must respond to the objection and you may have to appear for a hearing. A government agency may object based on the following:

  1. failure to disclose your full criminal record,

  2. pending criminal charges,

  3. inaccurate information,

  4. too many prior convictions,

  5. the offense is not eligible for expungement, or

  6. the waiting period has not been met.  

 

A Superior Court judge will decide whether to grant or deny your expungement.

 

If your expungement is granted, the judge issues an Expungement Order. You or your attorney will need to serve the expungement order on the appropriate government parties. The government entities will remove your records from their databases. Then, you or your attorney can confirm with the New Jersey State Police that your records have been expunged.

Please remember that there is no limit to the number of times a petition for an expungement can be made. 

 

A Superior Court judge may deny your application based on some of these reasons:

  1. the waiting period has not been met,

  2. the crime was too dangerous, or

  3. your behavior does not demonstrate rehabilitation.

 

How Do I Obtain My Criminal History Record in New Jersey?

 

The Division of State Police, Criminal Information Unit (CIU) provides fingerprint-based New Jersey criminal history records checks to any resident of the state of New Jersey requesting a copy of his/her own criminal history record. The criminal history record will yield the individual’s full criminal history in New Jersey.

 

An individual may obtain a criminal history record check at an approved fingerprint capturing site. An individual must schedule an appointment at https://uenroll.identogo.com/workflows/2F1BJG. The Service Code is 2F1BJG and the Contributed Case Number is PRR. An individual can also call 1-877-503-5981 to schedule an appointment.

 

The current fee for fingerprinting services is $42.80. The results will be mailed to the individual’s address.

 

In the alternative, an individual can contact the local courthouse in the county where the case was heard for a copy of their disposition.

 

What is the Filing Fee for an Expungement?

 

The Superior Court filing fee for an expungement is currently $75.

 

What Crimes Cannot be Expunged?

 

In New Jersey, certain conviction cannot be expunged including the following crimes:

 

  1. Criminal Homicide (Except Death by Auto);

  2. Kidnapping;

  3. Luring or Enticing;

  4. Aggravated Sexual Assault;

  5. Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact;

  6. Criminal Sexual Contact (if victim is a minor);

  7. Criminal Restraint;

  8. Robbery;

  9. Endangering the Welfare of a Child (if based on sexual contact);

  10. Perjury;

  11. False Swearing or Perjury;

  12. Human Trafficking;

  13. Causing or Permitting a Child to Engage in a Prohibited Sexual Act;

  14. Selling or Manufacturing Child Pornography;

  15. Knowingly Promoting the Prostitution of the Actor’s Child;

  16. Terrorism; and

  17. Producing or Possessing Chemical Weapons, Biological Agents or Nuclear or Radiological Devices

 

What is the Waiting Period for an Expungement?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Does an Expungement Not Apply?

 

When a person is applying for employment with a law enforcement agency or in the judicial branch of government, these agencies will be able to see the expunged crime(s). Expunged records are still accessible during sentencing for convictions for new offenses.

 

How Long Does the Expungement Process Take?

 

The expungement process can take from six to eight months, depending on the offense(s) committed, how old the case is, and whether any government entities objects.

 

If you are not sure whether your record qualifies for an expungement in New Jersey or need advice about your personal situation, make sure to contact Mounia Elarar Law, LLC for legal help.

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