Do you remember when we were children and our parents told us that we all have permanent records that would follow us around forever? When you do grow up and you have a criminal past, it can feel a lot like that. A record often leads to difficulty getting a job, obtaining a loan or even maintaining good relationships.
If you’re feeling the pressure, then you may benefit from learning about our state’s expungement process. If you qualify, then you may be able to remove your prior conviction from your record. Learn all the details below.
Understanding the Expungement Process in New Jersey
Do you think expungement sounds too good to be true? Believe it or not, New Jersey law specifies that a crime will be deemed not to have occurred after it’s expunged. That means you can say “no” in good faith when asked if you have prior convictions. The crime will be removed from your record, and it will be as if the arrest never happened. Here’s how the process works:
- You file a petition to the court requesting expungement
- A judge reviews your case and crime
- The judge either approves or denies an expungement order
It’s up to you to prove to the court that your record should be cleared. In most situations, that means convincing a judge that you’ve left the life of crime behind you.
Are You Eligible to Have Your Record Expunged?
Is anyone eligible to plead with the court for an expungement? Not exactly. Depending on the nature of your crime and your behavior afterward, you might not be able to clear your record. Here’s an overview of what can and cannot be expunged:
- DUI/DWI – cannot be expunged
- Drug crimes – cannot be expunged if it involved more than 25 grams of marijuana, 5 grams of hashish or any other substance
- Juvenile crimes – if felony as adult, then a 10-year waiting period applies. Other offenses can be expunged after two years
- Sex crimes – cannot be expunged
- Violent crimes – cannot be expunged
- All other felonies – can be expunged after a 10-year waiting period
If you’re still unsure if you’re eligible, then reach out to an attorney for help.
Taking the Next Steps
Do you think you qualify to have your record expunged? Are you interested in enjoying the benefits of a record-free life? If so, then you need to start constructing the best possible case to present to a judge. You’ll want to collect all the evidence you can that proves you’re a responsible community member. An attorney can help you prepare statements, coach character witnesses, collect evidence and file the proper paperwork. Take the next steps and start working to clear your name now.
Contact an Experienced Westmont Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Criminal Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with a crime that you are in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. Attorney Jill R. Cohen has successfully sought expungement for clients charged with crimes in Westmont, Camden, Cherry Hill, and throughout New Jersey. Call 856-242-7177 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 210 Haddon Avenue Westmont, NJ 08108.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.