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Expungement of records

New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney

 

Expungments in New Jersey are handled differently than in many states. All expungment petitioners are required to file an expungment request that is done using a standard application kit. The form will request certain specific information concerning the conviction in question that is being requested to seal. The state legislature has set forth qualifications for those who are eligible for criminal record sealing, which does allow for adult record sealing as well as typical requests from juveniles. While the rules are more lax for juvenile requests, adults face a more stringent test. For both groups, each expungment is for each particular conviction and entire records are rarely completely allowed for adults. Three DPOs are the limit in New Jersey. Record sealing is a very serious matter in New Jersey and it is important to ensure that the request will be handled appropriately if there is any hope for a successful outcome.

Having an Attorney is Important

Merely filing a petition and providing no explanation of why an expungment should be allowed is normally not a successful plan for a novice applicant. Attorneys can vouch for the fact that the information submitted is correct and that the candidate has learned from their experience. An attorney can also help with filing the application, including offering a possibility of actually winning the ruling. In addition, there is normally a hearing process that is conducted according to the rules of the court and petitioners are not given allowances for not knowing the rules of procedure.

All Offenses are Not Eligible for Expungment

Typical disorderly person’s convictions are all that are eligible for record sealing and the rules for eligibility are strict. The convicted petitioner is not qualified for expungment of a typical conviction until after five years of not receiving another conviction or has pending charges. Certain criminal histories for robbery, perjury, and aggravated assault are specifically denied by legislation. In addition, a New Jersey Superior Court judge must also evaluate the request before issuing the ruling.

It is important to understand that merely being eligible for an expungment does not necessarily mean the ruling will be issued, and having an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney like Michele Finizio is a real advantage when your case must be presented in an open hearing.