Can I Expunge My Record in New Jersey?

Posted March 6th, 2023.

Categories: Criminal Defense.

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People who commit crimes often receive criminal records as a result. Having a criminal record can severely impact a person’s reputation for the rest of their life. This can make it difficult for them to get a job, housing, education, loans, and more. The state of New Jersey recognizes this problem and offers those with criminal records the opportunity to expunge them if they meet certain qualifications. Read on and reach out to a New Jersey criminal defense attorney to learn more about whether you qualify for expungement.

What does it mean to expunge a criminal record in New Jersey?

Expungement is a process by which an individual can ask the court to remove certain arrests and convictions from their criminal history report. This may be possible for those convicted of a felony, disorderly person’s offense, petty disorderly person’s offense, or ordinance. People who have had charges previously dismissed are also eligible for expungement. When a record is expunged, it can only be seen by specific law enforcement agencies.

Expungement Laws in New Jersey

Expungement offers people the opportunity to get their lives back on track with a clean slate. This allows new doors to open for their future. In October 2018, New Jersey put new laws in place regarding expungement. These laws prohibit employers from discriminating against job applicants if they had their criminal history expunged. The law stated the following changes:

  • Speeding up certain expungements
  • Increased the number of convictions that may be expunged from a record (now up to 4 offenses)
  • Shortened the waiting period to expunge a record (now 6 years)

Am I Eligible for Expungement?

It is important to know that, in order to have your record expunged, you are required to meet certain criteria. People convicted of major crimes cannot have their record expunged. This can include crimes such as murder, robbery, kidnapping, arson, sexual assault, or perjury. People convicted for the distribution or possession of controlled substances are not able to have this expunged from their record either.

The Process

It can be a long and difficult process to expunge a record. In addition to meeting proper requirements, there is a great deal of paperwork that must be filed. Other requirements of the process may include:

  • Filing the Petition for Expungement
  • Filing the Order for Hearing
  • Filing the Expungement Order
  • A written cover letter explaining the documents being filed
  • Providing copies of these files to other governments involved in the case
  • Attending the hearing
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