Expungement is a process which "seals" the record of an arrest, conviction, or both. A "sealed" record is essentially erased; a search of your criminal history would no longer contain information pertaining to what was expunged. The law in New Jersey permits the expungement of certain offenses and arrests. The law gives much more allowance for expungement of offenses committed as a juvenile, demonstrating the understanding that a youthful mistake should not cause a lifetime of obstacles.
Criminal records can affect many processes, including obtaining employment, housing, educational assistance, state benefits, and more. Clearing your criminal record can eliminate potential life-long obstacles. Attorney Joseph Lento has nearly two decades of experience within the criminal justice system and will work to properly and expediently expunge your record so that you can move forward with your life.
New Jersey's "Clean Slate" Law
Under the New Jersey Clean Slate law, there is a petition process for “clean slate” expungement for New Jersey residents who have not committed an offense in 10 years and who have not been convicted of the most serious crimes. As part of this law, low-level marijuana convictions be sealed upon the disposition of a case.
Even under the Clean Slate law, some offenses may not be eligible for expungement. Expungement eligibility depends on a variety of factors, including the severity of the crime for which you have been convicted. Your criminal defense attorney can examine your criminal record closely and advise you on which convictions may or may not be eligible.
Somerset County Diversion Programs
New Jersey offers some diversion programs that residents of Somerset County may take advantage of if faced with certain offenses. Upon successful completion of these programs, your record will be wiped clean. 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, which is known as conditional dismissal.
Expungement of Juvenile Records in Somerset County
New Jersey law allows for the total expungement of juvenile records. Many times when a minor has completed the conditions placed upon him or her by a juvenile court judge, a juvenile record will be wiped clean.
There are some instances in which you may need to take extra steps to clear a record for a minor. Your attorney will be able to walk you through the most expedient way to clear arrests or offenses from your child's record.
Somerset County Expungement Attorney
According to the New Jersey Court System's educational materials on pursuing an expungement, "The court system can be confusing, and it is a good idea to get a lawyer if you can." Expungement can be a great step to move forward from involvement with the criminal justice system–make sure you do it right with the help of an experienced attorney. If you want to pursue expungement of a criminal record for yourself or your child, contact the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686.