New Jersey Expungement Lawyer

Having a criminal conviction on your record can drastically reduce your options in life. It can hurt your ability to get a job, adopt a child, or live in certain places. You should consult an attorney about the possibility of expungement so that one youthful mistake does not impose limits on you for the rest of your life.

When a criminal record is expunged, it is as though the conviction never happened. A person is legally entitled to say “No” in response to the question, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?”

In many circumstances, a criminal conviction can be expunged, thereby removing it from the record permanently. But this can be a complex, multi-step process, which is why it is crucial to talk to an experienced New Jersey expungement lawyer who understands the system and knows how to make it work. If you wish to have your record expunged, contact a qualified local attorney today.

Erasing the Record

When a person is arrested, or charged with any non-traffic offense, that person gets a criminal record.

Depending on how far the legal proceeding went, the records can include complaints, warrants, DNA test results, fingerprints, photographs, and judicial docket records.

Expungement laws vary greatly from state to state. Just because an expungement was obtained in one state, one cannot assume that the result will be the same in another state.

Critical Factors for Expungement

What factors are considered by New Jersey as part of the expungement process? Here are some of them:

  • What was the crime? Some convictions can never be expunged, including murder, robbery, arson, kidnapping, perjury, and sexual assault.
  • How many times has the person been convicted of a crime?
  • What was the person's sentence?
  • Were all fines and other financial penalties paid?
  • Are any charges against the person still open?
  • In general, relatively low-level criminal offenses qualify for expungement, as do first-time offenses. Individuals seeking this kind of removal will typically have to demonstrate to the court that they have avoided any sort of criminal activity since the conviction. A New Jersey expungement lawyer can help the defendant demonstrate that they have avoided criminal activity, and put forth an  argument for why the defendant's record should be expunged.

    The courts will also allow expungement of arrests and court actions in which the defendant was found not guilty.

    Some of the items on a person’s record that can be removed include:

  • Expungement of forensic evidence, such as DNA, samples is allowed if there is no conviction or if a conviction was later overruled
  • Information about juvenile offenses can be sealed and later erased
  • Arrest records can be removed if the individual never is charged or is subsequently exonerated
  • Material from investigations into child, spousal, or elder abuse also can be removed
  • Legal documents can be changed to fix inaccuracies
  • Know the Details

    An individual seeking an expungement will need to supply detailed information about the matter, including the case number, the name of the arresting agency, the date of the arrest and the charge that was filed.

    A New Jersey expungement lawyer who has experience dealing with the criminal courts can help assemble all the facts that are needed.

    There is another option in New Jersey that is known as a “Certificate of Rehabilitation.” This certificate is not as wide-ranging as expungement, but it does remove statutory impediments to obtaining a professional license.

    It may also convince prospective private employers, landlords, and adoption agencies to disregard the criminal record that can otherwise cause a problem.

    Consulting a Lawyer

    If you believe your life is being limited unfairly due to something on your record, talk to a knowledgeable New Jersey expungement lawyer today to see if the expungement process can help.