The process of sealing the record of an arrest, conviction (or both of these) is known as expungement. Once an expungement is performed, a criminal record search will no longer contain any activities that have been expunged. In New Jersey, arrests and certain adult offenses may be expunged, as well as juvenile offenses. Juvenile offenses are expunged much more easily, which demonstrates that the law recognizes that individuals should not face lifelong stigma due to a youthful mistake.
Why should you have your record expunged? Expungement can be very beneficial. Your criminal record can be a factor in obtaining employment, housing, educational assistance, state benefits, and more. Clearing this record can eliminate a variety of obstacles. Attorney Joseph Lento has the experience necessary to properly expunge your record expediently so that you can move forward.
New Jersey's "Clean Slate" Law
New Jersey has a law that allows a resident of New Jersey to petition for the clearing of his or her record if he or she has not committed an offense in ten years. The "Clean Slate Law" is only applicable to certain levels of criminal offenses. Also under this law, low-level marijuana convictions can be sealed upon the disposition of a case.
Offense Expungement Eligibility
Not all offenses may be expunged, even if the time requirement of the Clean Slate law is met. Eligibility will depend on a variety of factors, including the severity of the crime on your record. Your lawyer can examine your criminal record closely and advise you on which convictions may or may not be eligible.
Essex County Diversion Programs
If you've been charged with a crime in Essex County, you may be eligible for certain diversion programs. These programs will also depend on the nature of the charges you are facing. Diversion gives you the chance to complete some type of program related to the nature of your offense and thereby avoid a conviction and resulting criminal record. These include the New Jersey Drug Court Program and Pre-Trial Intervention Programs. If you are faced with certain offenses, your attorney can also negotiate for the dismissal of your charges, if you meet certain conditions set forth by the court. This is known as conditional dismissal.
Expungement of Juvenile Records in Essex County
Under New Jersey law, the entirety of a juvenile record can be wiped clean. Often when a minor has completed the conditions set in place by a juvenile court judge, no record will exist.
There are some instances in which your son or daughter may need to take extra steps to clear a record. Your attorney will be able to walk you through the most expedient way to clear arrests or offenses from your child's record.
Essex County Expungement Attorney
"The court system can be confusing, and it is a good idea to get a lawyer if you can." warns the New Jersey Court System, in their educational material on pursuing expungement. This can be an excellent step to move forward from involvement with the criminal justice system–but make sure you do it right with the help of an experienced attorney. If you want to pursue the expungement of a criminal record for yourself or your child, contact the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686.