A criminal conviction can feel like the end of the road – once the jury finds you guilty, you're left with a permanent misdemeanor or felony on your record. This can make it difficult to obtain employment, find a place to live, and even get approved for a loan. Fortunately, there may be a way out.
Expungement offers relief to those convicted and is sought after by many in New Jersey. Because this is such a popular way to eliminate a criminal conviction, the state has limited those who can apply by maintaining strict eligibility requirements. Your future may depend on expungement and the following information can help you determine whether or not you qualify.
New Jersey's Expungement Eligibility Requirements
According to the state, having your record sealed and expunged is essentially the same thing. It means that the public can no longer view your record unless authorized by a court order. If your record is expunged, it is deleted from New Jersey's criminal case management database.
Right off the bat, certain crimes are not eligible for expungement. These include murder, manslaughter, crimes against children, and most sex crimes. Beyond these, felonies can be expunged as readily as misdemeanors.
You must meet the following criteria to qualify for expungement:
- At least 10 years have passed since your sentence was completed
- You do not have any pending charges
- This is your only conviction
- You have less than three disorderly or petty disorderly violations
- You did not receive a dismissal of your charges through pretrial intervention
- You have never had a conviction expunged in the past
If you are eligible, you must then file an expungement petition. This petition requires a great deal of detail and it can be helpful to consult with an attorney before filing. The last thing you want is for your request to be turned down simply because you mistakenly filled out a piece of information.
Our New Jersey criminal defense lawyers are eager to help you achieve a favorable outcome. Get in touch with our firm today for personal representation!