Most people do not consider the effects a criminal charge can carry beyond the initial sentence. But criminal records can hang over your head for the rest of your life, getting in the way of employment opportunities, stable housing, and financial aid. The state of New Jersey understands how criminal records can affect several areas of your life and provides individuals with the ability to expunge a particular arrest or conviction from their criminal record.
When an arrest or conviction is expunged from your criminal record, the arrest or conviction is considered to not have happened at all. This means that when you are asked if you have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime, you can legally say no, and your records will not show up on background checks conducted by the New Jersey State Police or the FBI.
But even though the arrest or conviction has been expunged, the records related to the incident will not be destroyed and can be used under certain circumstances.
Legal Actions After Expungement
If you are arrested after having an arrest or conviction expunged from your record, the court can access your expunged records. They will use this information when determining whether to offer you bail, whether you are eligible for a diversion program, pretrial release, or determining your sentence.
Your expunged record can also be accessed and considered if you are incarcerated to determine your classification and assignment in prison or to determine whether you are eligible for parole.
In New Jersey, non-US citizens also have the ability to expunge their criminal records. But, when applying for a visa, residency, or citizenship, non-US citizens must disclose all confrontations with the law, including their expunged records.
Some crimes, even if expunged, can make you “inadmissible” for US citizenship. Though, there are some instances where you may qualify for a waiver of inadmissibility. If your record includes such crimes as prostitution, simple possession, being under the influence, or multiple criminal convictions with a total sentence of at least five years, you might be able to apply for the waiver and ask the US to overlook the previous conviction or record.
The only time you will have to disclose your expungement on a job application is if you are applying to work in law enforcement, a correctional facility, the judicial system, and when you are applying for a license to practice law.
How an Experienced New Jersey Expungement Attorney Can Help
Expungements afford individuals a second chance at life. They allow you to apply for jobs, qualify for housing, and request financial aid so you can further your education. But filing an expungement petition can feel overwhelming. The New Jersey requirements are very rigorous, and even technical mistakes can cause your expungement to be denied or delayed.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento is an experienced expungement attorney in New Jersey. He will work tirelessly to not only file your expungement petition but ensure you are aware of the individuals who may be able to review it later on. Call 888-535-3686 today or schedule a consultation online.