Erase Criminal Arrests Legally! Expungement/Record Sealing ....................... BY KENNETH A. VERCAMMEN, ESQ.
If someone has been arrested or even had a private criminal complaint signed against them in the Municipal Court, they have a criminal record, even if the charges were dismissed.
Under NJSA 2C:52-1 et seq. past criminal arrests and convictions can be expunged/ erased under certain instances. We always recommend individuals hire an attorney to obtain an expungement. The process for all expungements are held in the Superior Court. It takes a minimum of three months for the court to grant the expungement. The requirements are very formal. There can be a waiting period between 6 months up to 10 years after the criminal cases is finished.
When retaining the attorney, obtain a "certified disposition" of the court's decision, from the Court itself. Court costs and Legal fees for expungement range from $1,500- $2,500.
Thousands of citizens over the past 30 years have been arrested for criminal, disorderly, and municipal ordinance offenses. The courts and police must keep a record of all arrests and convictions, even if 30 years old. These "secrets of the past" could be open to anyone including credit agencies. Under one proposal, for a $15.00 fee, someone could ask the state police for a person's criminal record, even arrests with not guilty findings. Allowing access to a person's old criminal conviction or arrest record could open the door for discrimination or job loss against someone who now is a productive, respected, and law abiding citizen. Many employers often do a criminal background check on new and promoted employees. Fortunately, if you are a law abiding citizen, you can now have old arrests or most convictions erased from public records and police folders. Under NJSA 2C:52-1 et seq. past criminal arrests and convictions can be expunged/ erased under certain instances.