If you are or aspire to be a tech sector worker or entrepreneur who does business in New Jersey, then it is important that you understand how criminal convictions can affect your ability to do business with banks, employers, and other businesspeople. If you have a criminal conviction on your record, then getting an expungement may help you greatly in being approved for business loans and can open the door to other professional relationships. Having a criminal conviction on your record can prevent you from being able to operate as an entrepreneur altogether if you are unable to secure bank financing for projects. In this article, we'll explain what expungements are, discuss which types of crimes specifically hurt your ability to work in the tech sector or as an entrepreneur, and discuss the expungement process.
What is an Expungement?
The legal procedure used to erase a criminal conviction from your criminal record is called an expungement. According to New Jersey law, you are allowed to expunge one conviction or episode of a criminal act through expungement. The expungement laws in New Jersey and across the country have been updated in several ways in 2021. The “Clean Slate” legislation is one of the most significant updates to New Jersey's expungement laws. Clean Slate permits expungement seekers to potentially erase multiple convictions by expunging their entire criminal record once 10-years have elapsed from the end of the sentence of the final conviction. Expungements can be time-consuming and expensive, so make sure you are eligible to apply before you do.
New Jersey approved far-reaching expungement legislation that changed several expungement laws, including:
- Allowing expungement seekers to petition for expungement even if they have multiple convictions
- Allowing expungement eligibility after five years have elapsed from the end of a conviction as opposed to six years
- Allowing instant expungement eligibility for marijuana-related convictions
Other updates to the New Jersey expungement statute might apply to you. Make sure to speak to an experienced expungements attorney to see how an expungement may help you work in the tech sector or as an entrepreneur.
What are the Reasons that a Bank May Deny Financing an Entrepreneur?
Banks deny people loans for many reasons. Those who have poor credit, an inconsistent employment history, or little money in the bank can often find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to entrepreneur financing. Prior criminal convictions can make it even harder to be approved for financing as lenders will often refuse to give you a loan on that basis alone. Banks exist to also make money themselves, so if you look like someone who might not repay the money you have borrowed, then don't be surprised if your loan request is denied.
If your prior criminal conviction is an offense that involves untruthfulness or deception, then your conviction type will likely make it even more difficult to be approved for a loan through typical channels. If you are granted financing, then you may be expected to pay interest rates than others because of your criminal history. If you're curious how your criminal record may affect your ability to operate as an entrepreneur, then make sure you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
Expungement Process in New Jersey
The first thing that you do before you start any expungement is to make sure that you meet all the eligibility requirements. Second, you need to prepare your expungement petition. This petition is expected to include several pieces of information about you and your prior case, including:
- Your birthday;
- Your date of arrest;
- Any applicable laws;
- Any applicable case numbers;
- Your date of conviction;
- The final court sentence; and
- A sworn affidavit telling the judge that you don't have any potential or current criminal charges pending.
An expungement petition must be filed at the court of your most recent conviction or it will be rejected. Once an expungement petition is properly filed and received by the appropriate court, you are given a court date for your expungement hearing. The county prosecutor has the right to be heard on your petition and can/may file an objection to your expungement petition.
What Are the Benefits of Getting an Expungement?
The biggest immediate direct benefit of an expungement is having your criminal record erased. A clean criminal record can have other collateral benefits, including:
- Being able to be approved for entrepreneurial financing
- Having a clean record for tech sector job applications
- Having a clean record for housing applications
If your expungement is granted, it can lead to jobs that you couldn't get before and lead to lenders treating you differently and approving loans that were previously unavailable due to your criminal history.
What Are Some Reasons Why an Expungement Will Be Denied?
Judges deny expungements for several reasons. If you aren't eligible to be granted an expungement, then filing a petition is futile. The court will deny anyone who is not eligible for an expungement. Certain criminal convictions are never eligible for expungement in New Jersey, including:
- Sexual assault
These are just some of the convictions that can never be expunged in New Jersey, so it is important to ensure that your conviction qualifies for expungement in the first place. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are eligible before filing your petition and that your expungement petition is prepared properly. If you have questions about eligibility, then call us at Lento Law Firm so we can help!
Why Hiring the Lento Law Firm is the Right Choice
If you are or aspire to be a tech sector worker or entrepreneur in New Jersey, then don't let a criminal conviction hurt you. Having an experienced expungement attorney on your side can help prevent making the mistakes that many make when applying to expunge a prior 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 expungement application. You can also reach out to us online.