Helping Those With Criminal Records Succeed In the Expungement Process

If you have a criminal record, there is probably a sense of dread every time a potential landlord or employer tells you they will conduct a background check. Your criminal record can follow you for a lifetime, well after your punishment has been completed and you have learned the error of your ways. I founded The Law Office of Jill R. Cohen because I am passionate about helping defendants navigate the criminal justice system in New Jersey. I believe in helping clients obtain that fresh start so that they can move on to lead productive lives without fear that their criminal past will get in the way. If you are trying to figure out the expungement process in Camden County, I can help.

What Is An Expungement?

An expungement clears your criminal record, giving you the true fresh start that you need to move forward with your life. Historically, expungements were limited to certain types of offenses. New Jersey’s new expungement law significantly expands the availability of expungements. For those with certain professional goals, a lingering criminal record can even impact your ability to obtain a license to work in your chosen field of employment, prevent you from getting federal funding for college or prevent you from getting housing of your choice. Fortunately, New Jersey’s new law expands eligibility. I have filed numerous petitions for expungement, and all of them have been granted.

What Does The Judge Consider When Deciding Whether To Grant An Expungement For An Adult?

The court will look at the type of offense and crime, as well as your character and conduct since the time of your conviction. Usually, this will include answering the following questions:

  • Do you have any new criminal charges?
  • Are you gainfully employed?
  • Have you maintained gainful employment?
  • Did you go to school or complete additional higher education or training?
  • Did you complete all of your court-ordered requirements, like treatment programs or counseling?

Most violent crimes are not eligible for expungement even under the newly expanded rules. For example, murder, robbery, arson, sex crimes, human trafficking and certain drug crimes can never be expunged from your record. Child endangerment convictions and convictions of child pornography can also never be expunged.

Juvenile Expungements In New Jersey

In the state of New Jersey, for qualifying criminal offenses, a juvenile record is eligible for expungement after three years. The juvenile must have completed all of their sentence requirements, paid all of the associated fines, and completed any court-ordered classes, therapy or treatment programs. Additionally, to be eligible for an expungement for a juvenile record, the applicant must not have been declared a juvenile delinquent or convicted of an adult crime. The applicant cannot have an adult criminal record or have any pending criminal charges.

The State Of New Jersey Offers Clean-Slate Expungements

The state of New Jersey offers a “clean slate” provision when it comes to expungements. In other words, eligible applicants can qualify to have their entire criminal record completely expunged and wiped clean. If it has been ten years, since your last conviction and completion of your sentence and parole conditions and terms, you may be eligible for a clean-slate expungement. There is no limit on the number of crimes that can be expunged with a clean-slate expungement.

With decades of criminal defense experience, I understand how the criminal justice system works and the impact it has on those convicted, as well as their families. I offer compassionate, understanding representation, as I know how difficult criminal matters can be. I work tirelessly on behalf of my clients for post-conviction assistance, appeals, and expungements to make sure they have the best possible chance to move forward from what was surely a difficult time in their lives.

Questions? Contact Me To Schedule Your Free Appointment

I work to provide innovative solutions for clients who have been accused or convicted of a crime in the past. I offer free initial consultations so that I can have a chance to better understand your specific situation and answer any questions that you may have. Call my office at 856-754-5501 or reach out through the online contact form to schedule a time to meet with me for free.