Having an arrest or conviction on your record can lead to many headaches down the road. Applying to schools and searching for jobs is much tougher for those with a criminal record, even if the offense was something as trivial as violating a municipal ordinance (littering, loud noise disturbances, etc). Fortunately, New Jersey allows certain individuals to clear their record through the process of expungement. Outlined under statute 2C:52, this process can provide a fresh start for New Jersey residents who wish to remove derogatory marks on their record.
Understanding the benefits and limitations of the process is very important for those who want to clear their criminal history. Certain violations are not eligible for expungement, ranging from severe convictions like homicide and robbery, to lesser ones like certain types of motor vehicle convictions. Other limitations include the preservation of records for those who wish to apply to jobs with local, county, and state corrections departments, prosecutors, courts, or law enforcement agencies. Additionally, the records kept by the Real Estate Commission and the Department of Insurance are not affected by the expungement process. These agencies are unable to access an individual’s expunged criminal records after expungement. If they record a conviction before it is cleared however, they are then free to keep this information and publicize it indefinitely. This is why it is very important for all New Jersey residents to be aware of their rights and take a proactive approach to expungement.
The expungement process can be a lengthy and difficult process if handled improperly. An individual must first recognize exactly what is recorded on their record and then research if this arrest or conviction is eligible for expungement. A Petition for Expungement must then be carefully filled out and filed in the Superior Court in the county where the incident took place. The individual must then wait for a judge to decide on further action, with the ideal outcome of the record being expunged. If you would like to begin navigating the expungement process but are not sure how to proceed, then let The Morano Law Firm help. Give us a call at 201-598-5019 or email us directly for a free consultation, where we can provide you with valuable information about the easiest way to maximize your chances at being granted a successful expungement. Don’t let background checks and pre-employment screening scare you away from the career you want; contact us today.