If you are or aspire to be a licensed dentist in New Jersey, then it is important that you understand the role that criminal convictions can play in both obtaining and keeping your license to practice. If you have a criminal conviction on your record, then getting an expungement may help you get or maintain your dentist's license. All dentist licenses in New Jersey are issued and monitored by the New Jersey Board of Dentistry. The New Jersey Board of Dentistry follows a set of guidelines and state laws to determine who is safe and fit to practice as a licensed dentist. Having a criminal conviction on your record can prevent your licensure by the board and can also result in losing your license to practice. In this article, we'll define what expungements are, discuss which types of crimes specifically hurt your dentist license in New Jersey, and discuss the expungement process.
What is an Expungement?
If you would like to have a criminal conviction removed from your criminal record, then you will likely have to seek an expungement. Under New Jersey law, you are allowed to petition the court to erase one conviction or episode of a criminal act through the expungement process. Make sure to confirm that you are eligible for an expungement before you apply.
Expungement laws in 2021 have changed across the country in almost every state. In New Jersey, expungement legislation was passed that updated numerous expungement laws, including:
- The ability to petition for an expungement while having multiple convictions
- The ability to seek an expungement after five years have passed from your conviction
- Marijuana-related convictions can be expunged immediately
Several other new expungement provisions may apply to your situation.
Make sure to speak to an experienced expungements attorney to see how an expungement may benefit you.
What are the Reasons that the Board May Deny a Dental License?
The New Jersey Board of Dentistry operates under specific guidelines when dealing with any licensed dentist or anyone seeking a license. The rules and regulations that the Board follows can be found within the New Jersey Administrative Code at Title 13, Chapter 30. These rules incorporate relevant New Jersey state law regarding licensing and describe the rules that any professional licensed within the practice of dentistry must follow.
Specifically, the Board follows guidelines set in the New Jersey Revised Code found within Title 45 entitled Professions and Occupations. Specifically, under Title 45:1-21, any professional licensing board may refuse to issue a license, or suspend or revoke an active license, if a licensee has been convicted of any crime or offense involving moral turpitude. In short, a criminal conviction can keep you from being able to practice as a licensed dentist in New Jersey. An expungement of that conviction may help you get your license to practice dentistry.
Expungement Process in New Jersey
To start an expungement process, you first have to file an expungement petition. An expungement petition is required to contain specific information about your conviction(s), including:
- Your date of birth;
- Your arrest date;
- Any applicable state laws;
- Any applicable case numbers;
- Your date of conviction;
- The judge's final sentence; and
- An affidavit stating to the court that you aren't facing criminal charges.
You must file your expungement petition to the court of your most recent conviction, or it will be denied. Once your expungement petition is properly submitted, the court will then issue you a hearing date in front of a judge. If there are no objections to your expungement petition, then you may not have to appear at your expungement hearing. If there is an objection to your expungement application, then you will be expected to appear in court to address any objections in front of the judge.
If the judge grants your expungement, then you will get a signed order in the mail confirming your expungement. You must physically serve your expungement order on the appropriate government agencies so your conviction can be erased from your public criminal record. Your convictions will not be removed from your public criminal record until your expungement order is served.
What Are the Benefits of Getting an Expungement?
Obviously, the biggest benefit of an expungement is a clean criminal record. Cleaning your criminal record can have other collateral benefits, including:
- Restoring your gun ownership rights
- Restoring your clean record for job applications
- Restoring your clean record for housing applications
When dealing with a professional licensing board such as the New Jersey Board of Dentistry, an expungement can be seen as a positive step forward by the Board when determining licensing. A successful expungement can lead to the granting or restoring of your dentistry license.
What Are Some Reasons Why an Expungement Will Be Denied?
People can have their expungement petitions denied for several reasons. Many expungement seekers are denied because they filed their expungement applications without being eligible to actually be granted an expungement by the court. Criminal convictions that are not eligible for expungement in New Jersey include crimes such as:
- Drunk driving
These are just some of the convictions that are not eligible for expungement in New Jersey. If you file an incomplete expungement petition or you file before are legally eligible, then the court will likely deny your petition. Courts don't often make exceptions, so it is your responsibility that your expungement petition is correctly and timely filed. If you have questions about your situation, call us so we can help!
Why Hiring the Lento Law Firm is the Right Choice
If you are or aspire to be a licensed dentist in New Jersey, then don't let a criminal conviction hold you back. Having an experienced expungement attorney on your side can help prevent making the mistakes that many make when applying to remove a conviction. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to learn why hiring us is the right choice to help you prepare and file your expungement application. You can also contact us online.