Expungement Of A Crime Or A Conviction?
- August 4, 2014
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Criminal records may be expunged when a petitioner “has been convicted of a crime…and who has not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime….” N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(a) G.P.B. was sentenced under a single conviction to a guilty plea of one count of third-degree conspiracy (N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2) and three counts of third-degree making gifts to public servants (N.J.S.A. 2C:27-6(b)). 10 years later, a Warren County trial judge granted the petitioner’s expungement based on the “crime-spree” principle of In re Fontana, 146 N.J. Super. 264, 267 (App.Div. 1976) and the more recent case of In re Criminal Records of R.Z., 429 N.J. Super. 295 (App. Div. 2013), wherein a previous expungement statute permitted expungement of crimes committed so closely in proximity as to be considered part of a single event. In the Matter of the Expungement of G.P.B., the State appealed and the New Jersey Appellate Division reversed based on the holding in In re Ross, 400 N.J. Super. 117 (App. Div. 2008) wherein the court found the statutory language of N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(a) to be clear as to whether expungement may be granted in the event of a single conviction or single crime. “The words ‘prior’ and ‘subsequent’ do not modify the word ‘conviction’ but instead modify the term ‘crime'”. Ross, supra, 400 N.J. Super. at 122. Notably, the Supreme Court has granted certification in In re Expungement of Petition of J.S. wherein petitioner was denied expungement of drug crimes committed within a five day period. It should be noted that this blog has addressed only one portion of the expungement statute and other criteria apply. If you are considering seeking expungement of prior criminal records, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine whether you may be eligible for expungement. For further information about expungement of a criminal record, conspiracy, gifts to public servants or other crimes in New Jersey, visit DarlingFirm.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.