There is no good reason to have a criminal record. People who have been convicted of certain crimes in New Jersey can have their record expunged after a certain period of time. People who have had their charges dismissed are immediately eligible to have their record expunged. How do you know if and when you may qualify?

expungement law

New Jersey Governor Murphy signed a new expungement law known as the “clean slate” expungement law.  The first step is determining if you are eligible. Anyone with a conviction for an indictable offense – and up to 3 disorderly person offenses – may be eligible under ANY of the following circumstances:

  • The individual only has 1 indictable conviction;
  • The individual has 1 indictable conviction and 3 or less disorderly and petty disorderly convictions;
  • The individual has convictions for multiple offenses – indictable and disorderly convictions – that were all sentenced at the same time;
  • The individual has convictions for multiple offenses – indictable and disorderly convictions – that occurred within a short period of time and there are no other offenses.
  • If you qualify under these circumstances, the waiting period is normally five years.

What is the CLEAN SLATE expungement law?

Under the “clean slate” law, you may be able to expunge your entire criminal history of all arrests and convictions after 10 years. The 10 years starts after you finish paying your fine, finish probation or complete parole.

What is the EARLY PATHWAY to expunge a criminal record?

The court can now grant expungements for indictable convictions in less than 5 years now. If it has been less than 5 years since the payment of a fine, or if the person has substantially complied with the payment plan, and there are no further criminal charges, the court may grant the expungement under compelling circumstances.

The waiting period for all expungement petitions

  • Clean Slate expungement: 10 years
  • Indictable offense and 3 disorderly person offenses: 5 years
  • Early pathway expungement indictable offenses: 4 years
  • Up to FIVE disorderly person offenses: 5 years
  • Early pathway expungement disorderly person offenses: 3 years
  • Municipal Court town ordinance: 2 years
  • Entire Juvenile History: 3 years
  • Drug offenses for youthful persons: 1 year
  • Marijuana charges: Immediate expungement up to 3 years
  • Dismissals: Immediate automatic expungement
  • Drug Court: Immediate expungement
  • Diversionary Dismissals – PTI and Conditional Discharges: 6 months

What Criminal Charges Are NOT eligible to be expunged?

  • Homicide (Vehicular homicide may be expunged)
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual Assault offenses
  • Robbery convictions
  • Arson offenses
  • Terrorism charges
  • Endangering the Welfare of a child offenses
  • Child pornography offenses
  • Criminal perjury charges and false swearing charges
  • Convictions for conspiracy and attempt to cause these crimes

How does an expungement petition get filed and processed by the Court?

Once you determine that you are eligible for an expungement for your criminal record and have waited the correct time, you can file a verified expungement petition. This petition can be filed with the criminal division manager’s office. However, the Courts have now streamlined this process and the expungement can be filed online electronically. This allows the petition to be processed and reviewed quicker. It also automatically provides notice of the expungement to all NJ state agencies required under the statute.

Contact My Office Immediately

Once an expungement is granted, it is as if it never happened!

I am a New Jersey criminal trial attorney board certified by the NJ Supreme Court.  New Jersey’s expungement laws are extremely complex. The laws and filing procedures are constantly changing.  Anyone with an arrest or criminal record needs to have an experienced criminal defense attorney.  If you are a family member was arrested or convicted of a crime in New Jersey, contact me immediately so I can review your case and advise if and when you may be eligible for an expungement of your record. In many cases and circumstances a successful expungement petition will wipe your entire criminal record clean.  Please contact me now by email, by phoning 908.264.7701, or by completing the form to the right to schedule your complimentary 30-minute strategy session.

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