All crimes for which you are accused remain on your criminal record forever unless you take action to remove them. Even if you received a conditional discharge or were admitted into Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) you still have a criminal record.
In order to remove the stigma of a criminal offense from your record so that you may enter the school of your choice, obtain or retain a job or professional license or obtain credit you may obtain an expungement if you meet the statutory criteria. However, there are also negative statutory criteria within the statute which must be reviewed to ensure you are not disqualified from obtaining an expungement.
Expungement Eligibility Criteria
In NJ expungements are available, after the following waiting periods, to those meeting the criteria set forth.
- Immediately eligible for expungement:
Charges brought against you were dismissed
- After 6 months:
You have successfully completed the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) or Conditional Discharge program to which you were sentenced as a result of the charges.
- After 2 years:
You were convicted of violating a municipal ordinance
- After 5 years:
You were convicted of a disorderly or petty disorderly persons offense, paid all associated fines and completed any probation to which you were sentenced as a result of the conviction
- After 10 years:
You were convicted of a felony, completed probation sentenced as a result thereof or released from prison term you were sentenced to as a result thereof and paid all fines.
In 2010, the expungement statutes were amended and it is possible you may fit into certain exemptions. If you do not meet the above criteria but would like to obtain an expungement, you should consult with one of our criminal law attorneys to determine whether you are eligible for an expungement.
Expungement Disqualification Criteria
Just as you may be eligible for expungement in the event you meet the statutory criteria, you are subject to disqualification in the event of the following certain criteria:
- You have been convicted of more than one indictable crime.
- You have been convicted of one felony and more than 2 disorderly persons offenses.
- You have been convicted of distribution or possession with intent to distribute controlled dangerous substances (CDS).
- You have been convicted of more than 3 disorderly or petty disorderly persons offenses.
- You have committed an offense, prior to the one you are seeking to have expunged, which was dismissed by PTI or conditional discharge.
- You have been convicted of any of the following felony offenses:
- Homicide, except vehicular homicide
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual contact
- Criminal sexual contact
- Criminal restraint
- False imprisonment
- Endangering the welfare of a minor
- Luring or enticing
- Perjury or false swearing
- Distribution of controlled dangerous substances or possession with intent to distribute.
It is necessary that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney balance the criteria, both negative and positive, which you meet in order to determine whether you are eligible and should attempt to obtain an expungement of your criminal history.
Expungement and Driving Under the Influence
The motor vehicle offense of driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are not expungeable no matter your prior record or age.
Special Expungement Information for Juveniles
A juvenile expungement is different than an adult expungement. You can have your whole juvenile record expunged if at least 5 years have passed since you meet the following criteria:
- You have been released from any custodial sentence or supervisory program.
- You have had no other convictions, juvenile or adult, in the last 5 years.
- You have never been convicted of an offense which would disqualify you from expungement if you had been sentenced as an adult.
- You have never obtained an expungement as an adult.
- You have never had the benefit of Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) or conditional discharge to dispose of an adult offense.
Juvenile Drug Offenders and Expungement
Unlike the 5-10 years adult offenders must wait for expungement of drug offenses, juveniles are eligible for expungement of drug offenses after only one year from the time they complete probation or parole or are discharged from custody. In the event that you violated your probation or parole provisions, been subject to other convictions, received PTI or a conditional discharge for other matters, you may be ineligible for expungement.
Expungement and Driving Under the Influence
The motor vehicle offenses of driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are not expungeable no matter your prior record or age as they are traffic offenses and not criminal offenses.
How We Can Help You
The criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Heather J. Darling have successfully completed expungements for our clients throughout New Jersey. We will review your criminal record and advise you of your eligibility and the probability of the success of your expungement application. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys will submit the documentation required and, in most cases, can obtain your expungement without the requirement of a court appearance.
Obtaining Expungements Throughout Northern, NJ
Criminal charges on your record can haunt you forever, preventing you from entering schools of your choice, obtaining or retaining jobs and obtaining credit. In order to remove the stigma of criminal charges from your record, call 973-584-6200 now or contact us via email at HDarlingEsq@verizon.net to obtain the clean slate you are entitled to.
The Darling Law Firm has offices in Morris and Bergen County, New Jersey to conveniently serve our clients throughout Northern, NJ. We serve clients in Morris, Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, Union, Sussex and Warren Counties.