If you are a New Jersey resident and have a statutory rape conviction on your criminal record, then you may be curious if it can be removed from your record. The expungement process allows someone with a conviction to request that the court delete that prior conviction as long as he or she is eligible. In this article, expungements are explained, and a list of crimes that cannot be expunged is provided. Finally, there is a description of how the expungement process works in New Jersey.
What Is an Expungement?
For someone to delete one or more criminal convictions from his or her public criminal record, he or she must petition the court for an expungement. In New Jersey, those who have a criminal conviction can submit a petition to expunge or remove it from their public criminal records. However, they must be eligible for an expungement, and the offense must be expungable.
In New Jersey, “Clean Slate” legislation was recently passed, which allows an individual to expunge multiple convictions once ten years have passed from the end of his or her most recent conviction. Clean Slate has changed New Jersey expungement laws in several ways, including:
- Allowing people with multiple convictions to seek and obtain expungements
- Reclassifying drug convictions as disorderly person's offenses for expungement purposes
- Allowing expungements after five years for many offenses instead of six years
- Marijuana-related expungements can be expunged immediately
These are some of the recent changes to New Jersey's expungement laws. If you have any questions about expungements, you should talk to a criminal defense lawyer. If an expungement is successful, the court will remove convictions from your public criminal record. However, certain government agencies, like law enforcement or a prosecutor, can still access a private database that keeps track of all criminal offenses, even if they are expunged.
Can Statutory Rape Crimes Be Expunged?
No, statutory rape convictions cannot be expunged under New Jersey law. Statutory rape is prosecuted under adult sexual assault laws which are found in the New Jersey Statutes at
Under New Jersey law, statutory rape cannot be expunged. If there are other convictions that are connected to your statutory rape conviction, then those can also be excluded from expungement eligibility.
You may be able to clear your criminal record through another form of post-conviction relief. This would require investigating the conviction to see if there were any errors made that could lead to the case being reopened. If this happens, you may be able to avoid having the conviction stay on your record.
What Other Convictions Cannot Be Expunged?
There are several other types of convictions that cannot be expunged under New Jersey law. Convictions that cannot be expunged in New Jersey include:
- Drunk driving
- Endangering the welfare of a child
- Attempting any of the crimes above
These are some of the convictions that cannot be expunged under New Jersey law. Other criminal offenses exist that cannot be expunged under the current rules. Expungement petitions are also denied when the petitioner does not include all the information necessary and/or applies before he or she is eligible. The expungement process takes time, so make sure that you are eligible so you are not wasting your time. To ensure eligibility, reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney who can assess your situation.
Expungement Process in New Jersey
If you are eligible and your conviction is eligible for expungement, then you can file an expungement petition to start the process. An expungement petition must include the following information:
- Your birthdate
- Your arrest date
- The appropriate New Jersey law that applies
- Any case numbers
- Your conviction date
- The Court's sentence
You need to include an affidavit that says you are not currently facing any criminal charges. You have to file the expungement petition with the court where the most recent conviction occurred if you have more than one conviction.
If your petition is accepted, then you will be issued a court date. The prosecutor has a right to object to your expungement, and if the prosecutor does not object, then you may not have to attend the hearing. If the judge grants your petition, then you will get a signed order that officially grants your expungement.
You need to take this order to government organizations that keep public records of convictions to have your conviction removed from public records. Your convictions will still be on these records until you take your expungement order to the appropriate government agencies.
What Are the Benefits of Getting an Expungement?
The expungement of criminal convictions can result in a clean criminal record which can help you with:
- Gun ownership
- Job applications
- Housing applications
- State professional licensing
If your expungement petition is granted, then it will remove government records of arrests, charges, and convictions that are on public government databases. Public online records that are not controlled by the government, such as newspapers or social media posts, will not be affected. Make sure you get all of the benefits of expungement if you are eligible. If you have questions about the expungement process and whether or not you are eligible for an expungement, then call us at the Lento Law Firm today so we can help.
Why Hiring Lento Law Firm is the Right Choice
If you are looking to expunge a prior criminal conviction from your public criminal record in New Jersey, then having an experienced expungement attorney on your side can help you avoid the mistakes that many make when filling out and submitting an expungement petition. 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 application for an expungement if you are eligible. You can also contact us online.