Relaxation of the 10-year Waiting Period for Indictable Offenses
Previously, an individual with a prior indictable (i.e. felony) conviction had to wait 10 years before becoming eligible for an expungement. Under the new law, the 10-year waiting period may be reduced to 5 years if (1) the petitioner has paid his or her fines; (2) the petitioner has not subsequently been convicted of a crime or disorderly persons offense; (3) the Court finds that granting the expungement is in the public interest. In analyzing the third prong, the Court will consider the nature of the offense and the applicant's character and conduct since the conviction.
No Automatic Disqualification if Fines Not Paid
In the old law, a petitioner was barred from having an indictable conviction expunged if court-imposed fines had not been paid. Now, if ten years have passed since an indictable conviction and fines have not been paid, a petitioner can still have his record expunged if (1) the Court finds that the petitioner substantially complied with a court ordered payment plan; or (2) the petitioner could not pay his or her fines because of "compelling circumstances." In determining whether "compelling circumstances" exist, the Court will consider the petitioner's age, the amount of the fine, and other circumstances deemed relevant.
Reduction of the Waiting Period for Juvenile Ex-offenders
Previously, a juvenile needed to wait five years from the time their sentence was completed in order to have their juvenile record removed. Under the new law, the waiting period begins from where the juvenile was adjudicated delinquent, rather than when the sentence was completed.
Additional 3rd and 4th degree Drug Possession and Drug Distribution Offenses may be Expunged
Under the old expungement statute, 3rd and 4th degree drug possession or drug distribution charges could only be expunged in cases where the drug was marijuana or hashish. Now, a conviction for 3rd or 4th degree possession or distribution of any controlled dangerous substance can be removed if the court finds an expungement is consistent with the public interest. In making this determination, the Court will consider the nature of the offense and the applicant's character and conduct since the conviction.
More Crimes are Barred from Expungement
The new statute bars the following crimes from being expunged: (1) causing/permitting a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act; (2) selling/manufacturing child pornography; (3) knowingly promoting the prostitution of the actor's child; (4) terrorism; and (5) possessing or producing Chemical/Biological/Nuclear/Radioactive weapons.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.
What determines Avvo Rating?
Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, education
Legal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Legal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagements
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in .
Disciplinary information may not be comprehensive, or updated. We recommend that you always check a lawyer's disciplinary status with their respective state bar association before hiring them.