New Jersey Expungements Lawyers
Knowledgeable NJ Lawyers Help Clients Through the Expungement Process in Gloucester County, Camden County, and Burlington County
If you have ever been convicted of a crime, you know what it feels like to anticipate getting your punishment over with and putting your mistake in the past. Completing your punishment or being released from incarceration can feel like a celebration—a fresh start. Unfortunately, you then quickly learn that you must disclose your criminal record at every turn—in applying for jobs, housing, school and more. But not all information on your criminal record is set in stone.
Expungement is the legal process for clearing your record after you have completed punishment and a certain amount of time has passed. Hercules Law Group, LLC is here to help you through the expungement process so you can legally answer “no” when asked whether you have ever been convicted of a crime.
With over 20 years’ experience, attorney Hercules Pappas can help you get through the expungement process and avoid problems along the way. Not every crime is eligible for expungement—and not every case is clear cut. Having a strong lawyer by your side is always a good idea. Hercules Law Group, LLC will walk you through the eligibility requirements to determine whether you are eligible for an expungement. The firm can help you obtain an expungement for a conviction, arrest, or completion of a diversionary program.
To learn more about the firm and how an experienced lawyer can help with your expungement, call or use this online contact form today.
New Jersey Expungement Eligibility Criteria
Expungement eligibility in New Jersey is conditioned on two basic criteria: (1) the type of crime and (2) how much time has passed since you finished your punishment. There is no waiting period to have an arrest or outright dismissal removed from your record. Similarly, beginning in 2020, there is no waiting period for expunging conviction for simple possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia.
On the other hand, conviction for some serious criminal offenses can never be removed from your record, including:
- Endangering the welfare of a child
- Death by auto
- False imprisonment
- Homicide, including murder and manslaughter
- Luring or enticing
- Sexual assault
Both disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanors) and indictable crimes can be removed from your record. The applicable waiting period is typically five years if you have fewer convictions than set forth in the law. Below is a general summary of the rules:
- You can have up to five disorderly persons offenses expunged after five years have passed, assuming you have no convictions indictable crimes on your record
- You can have up to three disorderly persons offenses and one (eligible) indictable crime expunged after five years have passed
However, under a new law passed in 2020, you can apply to have all eligible convictions removed from your record after ten years have passed since you finished punishment for the latest conviction. This is true even if you have more than one conviction for indictable crimes on your record.
Trusted Lawyers Work to Smooth the Expungement Process for Clients Across New Jersey
The expungement process is complex and the rules governing expungement have changed significantly in recent years. Many clients have questions about whether enough time has passed in order to obtain an expungement. In general, the applicable “clock” begins to run as soon as you have completed all judicially imposed requirements. This may include:
- Completing a jail or prison sentence
- Paying fines or restitution
- Completing community service
- Completing a diversionary program, such as pre-trial intervention or conditional dismissal
- Completing mental health or substance abuse counseling
The experienced lawyers at Hercules Law Group, LLC are here to sit down with you and discuss how the requirements apply to your specific case. Detailed information is required to complete the expungement process, but the benefits are significant. Importantly, you can obtain the right to legally answer “no” when asked if you have been convicted of the expunged crime.
Contact Hercules Law Group, LLC to Discuss Your Expungement Rights Today
Hercules Law Group, LLC is here to help you get the fresh start you need. The firm understands that a criminal record can impose significant limitations on your life. An experienced expungement lawyer will form the best possible arguments to support your right to a clean slate. Call or contact the firm today for a free initial consultation to discuss options to help get your life back on track.
Frequently Asked Questions About the New Jersey Expungement Law
Record of your arrest will remain on your criminal record. Even though you technically can answer “no” when asked if you have been convicted of a crime (on a job application, for example), many potential employers and landlords conduct a criminal background check. Having the record of your arrest expunged can help you avoid embarrassment and questions in the future. The same is true if you participated in a diversionary program, such as pre-trial intervention.
Getting your record expunged is a complex process that requires a significant amount of paperwork. After gathering all of the documents related to your conviction, we prepare a petition for expungement that is presented to the court. There may be a hearing where we will advocate on your behalf—and the state has the right to object to the expungement. Assuming everything goes smoothly and the expungement order is granted, we then will work to serve the paperwork on all relevant agencies who will actually do the work of removing your criminal history from public records.
The clean slate law is a new law that expands the expungement rules. The goal is to allow more people to get a fresh start. After ten years have passed, you can have any eligible conviction expunged. Certain drug offenses also receive more liberal treatment beginning in 2020. The law also directs the state to develop a program to process expungements online and more quickly, although the details remain unclear.