Clearing Your New Jersey Criminal Record With Expungement
Applications for employment, college or loans may require disclosure of past arrests or convictions. Criminal background checks are widely required these days, even for coaching sports or volunteer activities. It may be possible to expunge your criminal past or seal those records from public view through a process called expungement.
Expungement of Arrests and Other Records
Expungement removes virtually all traces that your arrest and proceedings ever occurred. If your expungement is successful, you can legally state on job applications and legal documents that you were not arrested or convicted of that crime. PLEASE NOTE: applications for positions in law enforcement or the judiciary have different rules which must be followed. Consult with the offices of Gregg A. Wisotsky, Esq. Partner, Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins to learn all the details discussed above.
Any arrest records can be immediately erased if charges were dismissed or you were found not guilty at trial. Diversions from conviction such as conditional discharge or pre-trial intervention (PTI) can usually be expunged six months after your case is resolved (that is, after you complete probation and your matter is dismissed).
Eligible convictions can be expunged after sufficient time has passed*:
- Two years for municipal ordinance violations (petty crimes)
- Five years for disorderly person offenses (misdemeanors)
- Ten years for indictable offenses (felonies)
- The law has recently changed to allow for an opportunity for expungement as early as five years after completion of one’s sentence.
Some crimes can never be expunged, such as DWI, traffic offenses, sex crimes and serious violent crimes. But it may be possible to clear convictions for shoplifting or theft, drug possession, alcohol offenses, simple assault, vandalism and other instances of youthful mistakes or bad judgment as an adult.
Expungement is a very complex legal procedure, and there are limits to the number and types of matters that may be expunged.
Are You Eligible for Peace of Mind?
We have practiced in criminal law in northern New Jersey for over 25 years. We can determine if your specific case qualifies for expungement and personally handle your case to a successful conclusion. Contact us today. We represent clients in all North Jersey jurisdictions.
At the offices of Gregg A. Wisotsky, Esq. Partner, Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins, PC, we help people charged with crimes in Morris County and Northern, New Jersey.
*There are additional elements to these general propositions which need to be discussed with the individual client. This is not intended to be a recitation of the law but rather a very general overview.