If you are a New Jersey resident and have been convicted of credit card fraud, then you may be wondering if and how you can erase that conviction from your public criminal history. There are circumstances that will allow you to apply for your prior conviction to be removed through a legal process called expungement. In this article, we'll discuss what an expungement is, which credit card fraud crimes are eligible for expungement, and describe how an expungement works in New Jersey.
What is an Expungement?
An expungement is a legal process to delete a criminal conviction from an individual's public criminal history. In New Jersey, you are only allowed to expunge one prior conviction or episode for an indictable offense. To be successful in an expungement petition, you will have to meet many requirements. In February 2021, the state of New Jersey enacted sweeping changes to expungement laws. One of the biggest changes in New Jersey expungement law was the enactment of the “Clean Slate” legislation.
Under this new provision, an individual can get their entire criminal record expunged after a 10-year waiting period has passed. Some other new expungement provisions as of 2021 include:
- You can now seek expungement while having more than one prior conviction
- Convictions for drug-related offenses will be treated as disorderly persons convictions for expungement purposes
- Instead of 6 years, you will be eligible to apply for expungement after 5 years has passed
- Waiting periods are no longer required for certain marijuana and hashish convictions
This is a partial list of new rules as there are several other recent changes to the New Jersey expungement laws. It is important to know that if you are granted an expungement, then only the governmental public record relating to your conviction(s) will be deleted. Your criminal record will always be viewable on a private database that can be accessed by government and/or law enforcement authorities.
Which Credit Card Fraud Crimes Can Be Expunged?
Most all credit card fraud crimes can be expunged under New Jersey law. As long as your credit card fraud crime conviction is not associated with a non-expungable crime such as robbery, then you are likely eligible to apply for an expungement if you meet the other requirements. Credit card fraud crimes that are eligible for expungement include convictions under the following sections of the New Jersey Revised Statutes:
- False statements made in procuring issuance of a credit card: 2C:21-6b
- Credit card theft: 2C:21-6c
- Intent to defraud by person authorized to furnish money, goods, or services: 2C:21-6e
- Intent to complete incomplete credit card without consent: 2C:21-6f
- Fraudulent use of credit cards: 2C:21-6h
It is important to have an official copy of your criminal record issued by the state of New Jersey to know which credit card fraud crime you were convicted of.
Expungement Process in New Jersey
Once you have confirmed that you can expunge your prior conviction, you will then have to prepare your expungement petition. In this petition, you must include your:
- Date you were arrested;
- Statutes relating to any arrests or convictions;
- All court case numbers;
- Date of conviction or disposition if you were not convicted; and
- Court's disposition and sentence.
You must also include an affidavit stating that you are not currently dealing with any other pending criminal charges. Your expungement application must be filed with the court of your most recent conviction.
Once the court receives your application, they will then set a hearing date. Your attendance at this hearing can be waived. If the prosecutor objects to your expungement request or application, you will then have to appear at your hearing to respond to their objections. If the prosecutor does not object to your expungement application, then your appearance can be waived. If you win your expungement hearing, you will later receive a court order granting your expungement in the mail. For the expungement to take effect, you must serve this court order to all government agencies that have records of your conviction. Your criminal records will not be cleared until you present your expungement order to the necessary government agencies.
Benefits of Getting an Expungement
There are many immediate benefits to getting an expungement. Some of these benefits include:
- Regaining the right to own a firearm
- Answering ‘no' on a job application asking about any criminal convictions
- Ability to qualify for more housing options
- Ability to be issued a professional license
If your expungement is granted, it will only affect government-operated databases and not public records such as news and social media posts. The direct benefits of an expungement include the removal of arrest, charge, and conviction records that are maintained by the government.
What Are Some Reasons Why an Expungement Will Be Denied?
Your expungement application can be denied for several reasons. If the conviction you are attempting to expunge is not eligible for expungement, then the court will deny your application. Convictions that are not eligible for expungement include:
This is a partial list of convictions that are not eligible for expungement. Other reasons why an expungement will be denied include failing to provide all the necessary information in your application. You can seek expungement once five years have passed from the end of the sentence of an eligible indictable conviction. If you are curious about your eligibility for an expungement, then call us at the Lento Law Firm so we can help.
Why Hiring the Lento Law Firm is the Right Choice
If you are looking to expunge a prior credit card fraud conviction 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 attorney Joseph D. Lento and 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 of a credit card fraud conviction. You can also contact us online.