Requirements for Indictable Offense Expungement in New Jersey
Under New Jersey law, a petitioner must satisfy certain statutory requirements to expunge an indictable offense (crime). Below is an outline of the statutory requirements for expunging an indictable offense.
Waiting PeriodTen (10) years from date of conviction, payment of fines, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later. Under the amended New Jersey Statute, the 10-year waiting period required to expunge an indictable offense is reduced to five (5) years, if the court finds that expungement is in the best interest of the public and the petitioner meets all other statutory requirements. Under this "early pathway" scenario, the petitioner has the burden of proving to the court that expungement is in the best interest of the public. Therefore, under N.J.S.A. 2C:52:2(2), a person seeking an "early pathway" expungement must wait until "at least five years has expired from the date of his conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later...[.]" Certain criminal convictions are not eligible for expungement.
Other ConvictionsNo other prior or subsequent indictable offenses (crimes) in New Jersey or elsewhere, no more than two other disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses.
What crimes or indictable offenses are not expungeable in New Jersey?1. The following indictable offenses or crimes can never be expunged. (a) Crimes of murder, manslaughter, treason, anarchy, kidnapping, rape, forcible sodomy, arson, perjury, false swearing, robbery, embracery, or a conspiracy or any attempt to commit any of the foregoing, or aiding, assisting or concealing persons accused of the foregoing crimes, shall not be expunged. (b) Records of conviction for the following crimes specified in the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice shall not be subject to expungement: Section 2C:11-1 et seq. (Criminal Homicide), except death by auto as specified in section 2C:11-5; section 2C:13-1 (Kidnapping); section 2C:13-6 (Luring or Enticing); section 1 of P.L.2005, c. 77 (C.2C:13- 8) (Human Trafficking); section 2C:14-2 (Aggravated Sexual Assault); section 2C:14-3a (Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact); if the victim is a minor, section 2C:14-3b (Criminal Sexual Contact); if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim, section 2C:13-2 (Criminal Restraint) or section 2C:13-3 (False Imprisonment); section 2C:15-1 (Robbery); section 2C:17-1 (Arson and Related Offenses); section 2C:24-4a. (Endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child); section 2C:24-4b(4) (Endangering the welfare of a child); section 2C:24-4b. (3) (Causing or permitting a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act); section 2C:24:4b.(5)(a) (Selling or manufacturing child pornography); section 2C:28-1 (Perjury); section 2C:28-2 (False Swearing); section 2C:34-1b. (4) (Knowingly promoting the prostitution of the actor's child); section 2 of P.L.2002, c.26 (C.2C:38-2) (Terrorism); subsection a. of section 3 of P.L.2002, c. 26 (C.2C:38-3) (Producing or Possessing Chemical Weapons, Biological Agents or Nuclear or Radiological Devices); and conspiracies or attempts to commit such crimes. (c) Records of conviction for any crime committed by a person holding any public office, position or employment, elective or appointive, under the government of this State or any agency or political subdivision thereof and any conspiracy or attempt to commit such a crime shall not be subject to expungement if the crime involved or touched such office, position or employment. 2. Sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) or possession thereof with INTENT TO SELL, with some exceptions as listed below. (c) Expungement shall be denied EXCEPT where the crimes relate to: (1) Marijuana, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was 25 grams or less, or (2) Hashish, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was five grams or less. (3) Any controlled dangerous substance (CDS) provided that the conviction is of the THIRD or FOURTH degree, where the court finds that expungement is consistent with the PUBLIC INTEREST, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense and the petitioner's character and conduct since conviction. In such cases, the court must consider whether the need for the availability of the records outweighs the petitioner's interest in expunging the records. A hearing is required if any government office objects. (4) Convictions for conspiracy to possess, distribute, or sell CDS. 3. Sale, distribution, or possession of a CDS with INTENT TO SELL in the FIRST and SECOND degree is not expungeable.