New Jersey Criminal Record Expungement Lawyer

     A criminal record of arrest, not to mention a record of conviction, can make it impossible to find a job, get a loan, get a professional license, and seriously harms your life in many other ways.  This occurs even if you have beaten the charges, there remains a record of arrest, which employers commonly discriminate against.

Luckily, we are granted the ability, once in our lives (excepting certain circumstances), to expungement our criminal records.  This means that we can make law enforcement agencies sequester, seal, or remove any records of arrest.  This makes it far more difficult for anyone to background search you, and far easier to find employment.


What are the Requirements to apply for a NJ Expungement?

(Expungements waiting periods run from the time of the most recent violation)

Generally, if you have not been convicted of a crime of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degree:

  • It has been at least 3-years since the finding of guilt, or the completion of any probation, and payment of fines, whichever is later.  
  • The applicant has not been convicted of more than 2-prior (3 total) disorderly or petty disorderly persons offenses. 
  • The granting of an expungement must be in the public interest, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense, and the applicant’s character and conduct since conviction.   If 5-years have elapsed since the last offense, this will be far easier.  (Explained Below)

Generally, if you have been convicted of a crime of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th degree:

  • The applicant must not have been convicted of certain enumerated crimes, found here.  Additionally, generally one may not expunge records of drug distribution, except for low level marijuana / hashish offenses.
  • It has been at least 5-years since the finding of guilt, or the completion of any probation, and payment of any restitution or fines, whichever is later.
  • There have not been any subsequent convictions for a crime, disorderly persons, or petty disorderly persons offense.  It is not a complete barrier if the applicant has been found guilty of fewer than 3 disorderly or petty disorderly persons offenses since the conviction of the crime.  This will, however, present a far larger burden upon the applicant to prove their merit to the Court.
  • The applicant must not have been convicted, in your lifetime, of more than 1 crime of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degrees.
  • The granting of an expungement must be in the public interest, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense, and the applicant’s character and conduct since conviction.  If it has been 10-years since the last offense, this will be far simpler.  (Explained Below)


For further guidance and copies of New Jersey’s expungement statutes, please see the following:


Do I need a Lawyer to recieve a NJ Expungement?

If you believe you may qualify for an expungement, you may attempt to procure one on your own (pro se), a guide and forms are located here.  These are denied far more often than petitions created by an Experienced NJ Expungement Attorney.  If you do not wish to go through hassle and often repeated attempts at navigating our criminal justice system, please call our top NJ Expungement Lawyers today.  


Frequently Asked Questions:

What does “giving due consideration to the nature of the offense and the applicant’s character and conduct since convction” mean?

This means that the Court will consider what the offenses were.  Meaning if they were related to the crime, and of such a manner where the Court believes they are a continuing pattern, it will be less likely to grant an expungement.  For instance, if the applicant were convicted for the crime of selling of marijuana, and years later found guilty of the disorderly persons offense for merely possessing marijuana, the Court may look poorly upon this.

Am I off scott-free after an expungement has been granted?

This does not mean that there are no circumstances where the criminal procedings could come back to haunt you.  Certain jobs,  such as in law enforcement, and certain professional licenses, such as admittance to practice law, still require you to disclose any prior criminal history.  For such jobs and licenses must often agree to allow such agencies to temporaily unseal your record to investigate your background.  Although this applies to a minority of individuals, it is still a grave concern.

Other reasons you may have to disclose expunged records:

  • Upon application for expungement, to make sure you have not been granted one prior;
  • VCCB claims;
  • Leave to inspect for good cause;
  • Checking eligibility for Diversionary Programs;
  • Setting bail for subsequent offenses;
  • Parole Board investigations;
  • DOC classifications.

Additionally, expungements do nothing to wipe clean information that is already in public hands via an internet search.  There are companies which can help with this, but that is beyond the purview of legal assistance.

Do I still have to tell employers that I have been convicted of a crime?

In New Jersey, if you have only been convicted of a disorderly or petty disorderly persons offense, you can always say no.  By statute, they are not defined as crimes.  If one has been convicted of a crime and obtains an expungement, they can then also say no.

I have been granted an exunpungement before, can I get another?

You may generally only expunge your record once.  This does not apply to cases resulting in an outright dismissal, not guilty verdicts, Drug Court cases, or Pre-Trial Intervention and Conditional Dismissal cases.

Are driving offenses DUI / DWI Expungeable?

Driving offenses are generally not expungeable at any time.  

Is an expungement right for me?

We often tell clients that an expungement may be imprudent if they plan to continue a life involved in crimes.  This is so unless the maximal amount of permissible offenses have already been committed.  This means that if the applicant has already been convicted of a crime and two disorderly persons offenses, they may not be eligible for relief if they are convicted of any more crimes.  As such, now would be the time to expunge their record before any further issues arrise.  

I may use a diversionary program, Pre-trial Intervention or Conditional Discharge, for a pending criminal charge, how does this effect me?

After the completion of a NJ PTI or Conditional Discharge program, you will no longer be technically eligible for the Expungement of prior or subsequent petty disorderly persons, disorderly persons, or criminal convictions.  As such, if appropriate, we reccomend we expunge all records before entering into a diversionary program

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