If you are a New Jersey resident with a criminal conviction, then you might be wondering if it is possible to remove the conviction. New Jersey law allows people to remove the record of a criminal conviction through the expungement process. If you qualify, a court can order that the public record of your conviction be permanently removed. If you have questions about your eligibility for an expungement, then make sure that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
What is an Expungement?
An expungement is a legal procedure that is meant to allow someone to erase one or more criminal convictions from his or her criminal record. In general, you are permitted to expunge one conviction from your record. Big changes have recently occurred regarding expungement law in New Jersey, allowing for more access to expungements for people with criminal convictions. One major example of the big changes to state expungement law was the enactment of the “Clean Slate” legislation.
Under Clean Slate, someone who has multiple convictions can expunge their entire criminal record after 10 years have passed since the end of the sentence of their last conviction. Other recent New Jersey expungement law changes include:
- Expungements are available to people with multiple convictions
- Drug offense convictions are considered as disorderly person's offenses during expungements
- Certain marijuana convictions can be immediately expunged
- You only have to wait five years to seek expungement instead of six
These are just some of the changes to New Jersey expungement laws in 2021. It is important to understand that a successful expungement application will result in the removal of criminal records only on governmentally maintained public databases. Your criminal history can always be found on a private database that can be accessed by government and/or police authorities.
Which Disorderly Conduct Crimes Can Be Expunged?
Under New Jersey law, the crime of disorderly conduct encompasses many types of crimes. Most disorderly crimes can be expunged under New Jersey law as they are considered low-level offenses. As long as your disorderly conduct conviction is minor and not connected to a crime that cannot be expunged, such as robbery, then you can probably petition for an expungement if you otherwise qualify. Disorderly conduct crimes that are eligible for expungement include convictions under the New Jersey Revised Statutes starting at Section 2C:33
Make sure you get an official copy of your criminal record to guarantee that you are eligible for expungement. Once you have your official criminal record in hand, make sure to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you don't know how to get an official copy of your criminal record, then an experienced expungement attorney can help you.
Expungement Process in New Jersey
To start the expungement process, you must first prepare an expungement petition. This petition is expected to contain important information about you and your criminal history, including:
- Date of arrest;
- The New Jersey statutes that apply;
- All relevant case numbers; and
- The final sentence of the court.
An affidavit must be attached to your expungement petition that confirms to the court that you don't have any other current or pending criminal charges. You have to file your expungement petition with the court of your last conviction.
Once your expungement petition is filed correctly, the court will then set a hearing date in front of a judge for your expungement. If the judge grants your expungement, then you will be sent an order signed by the judge confirming that your expungement petition was granted. This will clear your public criminal record once you physically take this order to the state police and other governmental authorities. Your conviction will remain on your record until you physically take the order to these places.
What Are the Benefits of Getting an Expungement?
If you are successful in getting your prior convictions expunged, then you are in line for other collateral benefits. Some of the most popular and powerful collateral benefits of expungement include:
- Regaining your Second Amendment rights to own a firearm
- Having the ability to say that you don't have a conviction on job applications
- Renewed eligibility for certain federal funding
- The potential to be awarded a professional license that may not have been available before
The benefits of expungement can be great. In many cases, people don't even realize the kind of harm that a criminal conviction is doing to them in their daily lives.
What Are Some Reasons Why an Expungement Will Be Denied?
Expungement seekers can have their expungement denied for a variety of reasons. Expungements will be denied if you are attempting to expunge an offense that cannot be expunged. If you file an expungement petition for one of the following crimes listed below, then expect the court to deny your petition.
- Rape/Sexual Assault
- DWI/DUI/Drunk Driving
Many other types of convictions cannot be expunged in New Jersey. Another common reason why your expungement petition will be denied is because of mistakes in your expungement petition. If you file an expungement petition that is incomplete or file one with errors, you will likely face an objection from the prosecutor and/or a denial from the judge. If you have questions regarding your starting your expungement petition, then call us at the Lento Law Firm so we can help.
Why Hiring the Lento Law Firm is the Right Choice
If you have a criminal conviction for disorderly conduct in New Jersey, then you might be able to get that conviction off of your record. To put yourself in the best position to win your expungement hearing, it is important to have an experienced expungements attorney on your side. Having attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm on your side can put you in the best position to get that conviction off of your record permanently. Call us today at 888-535-3686 or contact us online so we can help you win your expungement case.