If you are a resident of New Jersey and have a criminal conviction for solicitation that is public, you may be wondering if it can be removed. The legal process of expungement permits you to petition the court to scratch your prior conviction if you are eligible. In this article, expungements will be explained, along with the process and typical reasons why expungements are denied. If you are considering seeking an expungement for a criminal conviction, then make sure that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney.
What Is an Expungement?
If you want to remove a criminal conviction from your public criminal record in the state of New Jersey, then you have to go through a legal process called expungement. State law lets people petition to have a prior criminal conviction or criminal episode removed from their public criminal records. Make sure you are eligible for expungement before seeking an expungement.
In New Jersey and many other states across the country, “Clean Slate” legislation was passed recently. This new change in the law allows several convictions to be removed simultaneously through expungement after ten years have elapsed since the conclusion of court punishment of the individual's most recent conviction. Clean Slate has amended many New Jersey expungement laws, giving people a better chance to secure an expungement. Some big changes include:
- Allowing people to get expungements even if they have multiple convictions
- Reclassifying drug convictions to make them easier to expunge
- Decreasing the waiting period to seek an expungement to five years instead of six.
- Allowing marijuana-related expungements to be handled right away without a required waiting period
New Jersey's expungement laws have seen several other important changes. If you want to know more about expungement, then speak with a criminal defense lawyer. If the court agrees to your expungement petition, it will remove your conviction from your public criminal record. However, state and federal government agencies can still access a private database that records all criminal offenses, even after expunged convictions.
Can a Solicitation Conviction Be Expunged in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, many solicitation convictions are expungable, granted the offense was not related to a crime that does not qualify for expungement. For instance, if an individual was convicted of solicitation and rape, then the individual is not eligible to seek expungement on either crime. The New Jersey solicitation statute can be found within the following section of the New Jersey Revised Statutes:
- 2C:34-1 – Prostitution and related offenses
Under this section, solicitation can be charged as either a first-degree offense, second-degree offense, third-degree offense, fourth-degree offense, or a disorderly person's offense. Make sure that you have a copy of your criminal record from the state of New Jersey before you start your expungement case. This will help to ensure that you are eligible to have the case processed.
Expungement Process in New Jersey
Once you determine that you and your conviction are expungement eligible, then you must file an expungement petition to start your expungement. An expungement petition must include:
- Your date of birth
- Your date of arrest
- The appropriate New Jersey statutes that apply
- Any case numbers
- Your conviction date
- The judge's sentence
For your petition for expungement to be considered, you must include an affidavit stating that you are not facing current criminal charges. Furthermore, the petition must be filed with the court where your most recent conviction took place, even if you have multiple convictions.
If your petition is accepted, then you will be given a court date. The prosecutor may object to your expungement, but if the prosecutor does not object, you may not have to attend the hearing. If the judge approves your petition, you will receive an order that officially grants your expungement.
You need to take this order to agencies that keep public records of convictions. Your convictions will still be on these records until you take your expungement order to the appropriate government agencies and ask them to remove your conviction from the records.
What Are the Benefits of Getting an Expungement?
A successful expungement results in many benefits, including:
- Restoring gun ownership rights
- A clear record for job applications
- A clear record for housing applications
- A clear record for state professional licensing
If your petition to clear your record is granted, it will remove government records of your arrests, charges, and convictions from public databases. However, online records that are not controlled by the government, such as newspapers or social media posts, will not be affected.
What Are Some Reasons Why an Expungement Will Be Denied?
There are several reasons a judge might deny your expungement petition. If you file your petition in the wrong court, it will be rejected and sent back to you. If your conviction cannot be expunged under New Jersey law, the court will deny your application. Convictions that cannot be expunged in New Jersey include:
- Drunk driving
These are some of the convictions that you cannot remove in New Jersey through expungement. There are many other convictions that cannot be expunged under New Jersey law. If you have legal questions about the expungement process and your eligibility, then call us at the Lento Law Firm today so we can help.
Why Hiring Lento Law Firm is the Right Choice
If you are looking to expunge a prior conviction for solicitation from your criminal record in New Jersey, then having an experienced expungement attorney on your side can help you avoid 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 application for an expungement in New Jersey. You can also contact us online.