Can My Criminal Record Be Expunged In New Jersey?
What is an expungement?To have your record expunged means to remove it from your criminal history abstract as if it never happened. This way, when you apply for a job, your future employer will not know that you were arrested and/or plead guilty to a criminal charge in NJ because it will not show up on your criminal background check.
Arrested but the charges were dismissedIf you were arrested in NJ for a crime, disorderly/petty disorderly persons offense or ordinance violation and the charge was dismissed, you may immediately apply to have the arrest expunged. If you do not apply for an expungement, future employers that run a criminal background check will be able to see that you were arrested in the past.
Dismissal as a result of PTI or CDIf your matter was eventually dismissed because you successfully completed the requirements of a conditional discharge or pre-trial intervention program, you must wait 6 months from the order of dismissal before applying for expungement.
Ordinance violationsIf you were found guilty of violating a municipal ordinance AND you have not been convicted of any crime before or after the ordinance violation AND you do not have more than 2 petty disorderly/disorderly persons offenses on your record, you are eligible after 2 years has past from the last event occurring in your matter (meaning date of conviction, payment of fine, completion of probation or release from jail).
Disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offensesIf you were convicted of a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense AND have not been convicted of any crime before or after this you are eligible after 5 years has past from the last event occurring in your matter (meaning date of conviction, payment of fine, completion of probation or release from jail).
Indictable offenseIf you were convicted of a felony AND have not been convicted of any crime before or after this AND do not have more than 2 disorderly or petty disorderly persons charges, you are eligible after 10 years has past from the last event occurring in your matter (meaning date of conviction, payment of fine, completion of probation or release from jail). However, there is a special exception in the statute that will allow for an early expungement if you can show it is in the public's interest.
Young drug offender chargesIf you were 21 years or younger and charged with a drug offense of possessing or using a controlled dangerous substance AND at least 1 year has passed from the last event, you may apply for expungement. At the time of the expungement hearing, you must have complied with all probation or parole requirements and not have any other criminal violations either before or after this one AND not had a charge dismissed due to entering a conditional discharge or pre-trial intervention program. This does NOT apply to charges for sale or distribution of CDS, or possession with intent to sell CDS (unless the CDS was Marijuana under 25 grams or Hashish under 5 grams).
Juvenile adjudications and chargesIf you were a juvenile when the charge occurred, you can have the matter expunged if the act committed would have constituted (1) a crime if committed by an adult, (2) a disorderly or petty disorderly persons offense if committed by an adult, or (3) an ordinance violation if committed by an adult. Also, you can have your entire juvenile record expunged IF: (1) 5 years has passed since final discharge from legal custody or supervision or from entry of court order not involving supervision, (2) have not been convicted of anything else during that 5 years and nothing pending, (3) if your delinquent matter was committed by an adult it would not be something barred from being expunged, (4) no adult expungements granted, and (5) no adult criminal charges dismissed following CD or PTI.
If your matter was dismissed, you can apply for immediate expungement.
Crimes not eligible for expungement in New Jerseycriminal homicide, except death by auto
aggravated sexual assault
aggravated criminal sexual contact
criminal sexual contact involving minor
criminal restraint or false imprisonment if victim is minor and offender is not parent
endangering welfare of child through sexual conduct
endangering welfare of child
causing or permitting child to engage in prohibited sexual act
selling or manufacturing child porn
knowingly promoting prostitution of actor's child
producing or possessing chemical weapons, biological agents or nuclear or radiological devices
and conspiracies or attempts to commit such crimes.
Grounds for denial of expungement petitiona. any statutory prerequisite is not completed
b. need for availability of records outweighs the desirability of having a person freed from any disabilities.
c. objection by police, prosecutor, court, etc.