If you live in New Jersey and have been convicted of embezzlement, then you may be wondering if and how you can get rid of that conviction once and for all. There is a legal process called expungement which will allow you to apply to remove your prior conviction if your circumstances make you eligible. In this article, we'll explain what an expungement is, which embezzlement crimes are eligible for expungement, and describe how the expungement process works in New Jersey.
What is an Expungement?
An expungement is a legal method to erase a criminal conviction from someone's public criminal history. Under New Jersey law, you are permitted to expunge one prior conviction or episode for a prior indictable offense. There are several eligibility requirements that you must meet if you want to seek expungement. In February 2021, New Jersey expungement laws were changed significantly. The passing of the “Clean Slate” legislation is one of the most talked-about changes in New Jersey expungement law. Under ‘Clean Slate,' you can get your entire criminal record expunged once 10-years have passed from the end of your last conviction. Other major changes to New Jersey expungement law in 2021 include:
- You can now ask for an expungement even if you have more than one prior conviction
- If you are asking for an expungement of a drug-related offense, then the judge will treat your conviction as a disorderly person's conviction for expungement purposes
- You are now eligible to apply for expungement after five years
- You do not have to wait to apply for a marijuana-related expungement
There are many more changes, as these are just some of the new rules that apply to the New Jersey expungement. It is important to know that if you win your expungement, then only your public record relating to your conviction(s) will be erased. There is a private database that can be accessed by government and/or law enforcement authorities where your criminal record will always appear.
Which Embezzlement Crimes Can Be Expunged?
Most embezzlement crimes can be expunged under New Jersey law. As long as your prior embezzlement 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. Embezzlement can be found within the following section of the New Jersey Revised Statutes:
- Theft by failure to make required disposition of property received: 2C:20-9
New Jersey does not have a named “embezzlement” statute, so crimes of embezzlement are typically charged under the above law. Make sure that you have an official copy of your criminal record issued by the state of New Jersey so you can specifically know which embezzlement crime you were convicted of, and when it took place.
Expungement Process in New Jersey
Once it is time to apply to expunge your prior conviction, preparing your expungement petition is the next step. To properly complete this petition, you must include:
- Your date of birth;
- The date you were arrested;
- All applicable statutes;
- All applicable court case numbers;
- The date of your conviction; and
- The court's final disposition and the sentence you received.
You must also include an affidavit declaring that you are not currently facing any other potential or actual criminal charges. You must file your expungement application with the court of your most recent conviction.
You will be given a hearing date once the court receives your expungement petition. You may not have to appear at this hearing. If the prosecutor objects to your expungement petition, then you will have to appear in court to respond to their objections. If the prosecutor does not object to your expungement petition, then you can likely avoid having to appear. If you are granted an expungement, then you will receive a court order granting your expungement in the mail. You have to physically serve this court order to all government agencies that have records of your conviction for your expungement to actually take effect. Your criminal records will remain until you serve your expungement order to the necessary government agencies.
What Are the Benefits of Getting an Expungement?
Getting an expungement can have several benefits, including:
- Restoring your second amendment rights to own a gun
- Having the ability to state that you have a clean criminal record on a job application.
- Having the ability to qualify for more housing options
- Regaining the ability to earn a professional license
If you win your expungement case, then it will not affect public online records such as news and social media posts. The benefits of an expungement include the elimination of arrest, charge, and conviction records that exist on government databases.
What Are Some Reasons Why an Expungement Will Be Denied?
Many expungement applications are denied, and your expungement application can be denied for several reasons. If you are trying to expunge a non-expungable conviction, then the court will deny your application. Non-expungable convictions in New Jersey include:
- Sexual assault
These are a few examples of convictions that are non-expungable in New Jersey. You need to include all of the requested information on your expungement application. If you fail to properly complete your expungement application or apply before you are eligible, then your application will be denied by the court. If you are wondering if and when you might be eligible 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 embezzlement 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 an embezzlement conviction. You can also contact us online.