Criminal convictions can have long-term collateral effects long after the actual punishment for the conviction itself ends. Having a criminal conviction can prevent you from getting certain jobs, living in certain places, and being awarded professional state licenses. An expungement may help you avoid these collateral consequences and help you achieve your personal and professional goals. In this article, we'll explain the banking licensing standards, describe how new expungement laws may help you, and outline the expungement process.
Can You Be Awarded a Banking License with a Criminal Record?
It is possible to be awarded your banking license while having a prior criminal record; it just depends on what your conviction was for. Each conviction and case will be decided on an individual basis to determine the nature and seriousness of the offense(s). If your prior convictions are related to theft or dishonesty, then you face an uphill climb to getting your license.
How the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Treats Criminal Offenses
The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance is the organization that determines who qualifies for state licensing. This organization is more concerned with the nature of your alleged criminal past than they are the semantics of your case. If you were given a “first offender deal” where your case was deferred after completed a period of supervision, then the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance will likely still treat it as a conviction if you admitted wrongdoing in court. You are required to fill out and include an arrest form with your banking license application if you have ever been arrested for anything, even if it did not result in charges or conviction.
The Arrest Form Explained
You must complete an arrest and conviction form to include with your banking license application if you have ever been arrested for anything. You are required to include any documentation or related police reports for every instance listed. You will be asked to discuss the arrest or offense, its circumstances, and even assess a social condition that may have contributed to the crime. You will be able to include any evidence of rehabilitation, community service, treatment, or whatever may have helped you get past the occurrence so you don't repeat the same mistake and end up in the same situation again. Honesty is key as an applicant's character is being examined, and lying or failing to include or disclose important information can be fatal to your banking license.
What is an Expungement?
An expungement is a legal method and procedure to delete a criminal conviction from your public criminal record. In New Jersey, the law allows you to expunge a conviction or episode of a criminal act if you meet certain qualifications. Expungement laws have significantly changed across the country this year in an effort to increase the accessibility of expungements, so more people can clear their criminal records. Some of the new benefits of the updated expungement laws in New Jersey include:
- Earlier eligibility: An individual can now petition for an expungement once five years have elapsed since the end of their conviction. In the past, people had to wait six years to apply.
- Immediate eligibility for marijuana convictions: Instead of waiting years, people can petition for the expungement of marijuana convictions without any waiting period.
- The ability to petition for expungement while having multiple criminal convictions: In the past, you would not be able to petition for an expungement if you had more than one criminal conviction.
Other changes to New Jersey expungement law might apply to you. Make sure to speak to an experienced expungements attorney to see how an expungement may help you obtain your banking license.
Expungement Process in New Jersey
This first step in obtaining an expungement after you have confirmed that you are eligible is drafting your expungement petition. An expungement petition is expected to include a lot of specific information, including:
- Your date of birth;
- Your arrest date;
- Any state statutes that are applicable;
- Any court case numbers that are applicable;
- Your conviction or disposition date;
- The final result of your case; and
- A signed and sworn affidavit stating to the judge that you are not facing any current or potential criminal charges.
Once an expungement petition is filed with the appropriate court, you will then be assigned a court date for a judge to hear your expungement petition. If the prosecutor does not object to your expungement, you may possibly be excused from your court date. If the prosecutor has an objection, then you will likely have to appear to respond to the objection in court. If your expungement petition is granted by the judge, then you can have any related public criminal records of arrest, charge, and conviction erased permanently.
Can the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance See Expunged Criminal Records?
Yes, a state licensing board such as the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance can see any and all of your expunged criminal records since they are a government agency. Expunged criminal records do not appear on public government databases when private citizens or companies do background searches because expungements only affect public records. The government maintains a private database that permanently documents anytime you have been arrested, charged, or convicted of a criminal offense or other violation. If you have specific questions about your situation, then call us at Lento Law Firm so we can help!
Why Hiring the Lento Law Firm is the Right Choice
If you aspire to earn your banking license to work in banking in New Jersey, then don't let a criminal conviction hold you back. Having an experienced expungement attorney on your side can help you erase a prior conviction and potentially clear the way for your banking license. 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 expungement application. You can also contact us online.