New Jersey Expungement of an Indictable Felony Attorney
The ramifications of criminal charges in New Jersey can negatively impact your life long after the case itself is resolved, regardless of the outcome. For example, a charge on your criminal record can become an impediment when you are seeking employment, applying to become a coach for a youth sports team, or even attempting to adopt a child.
Unbeknownst to many, even in cases in which the charges are ultimately dismissed, a record of the initial arrest and the original charge and/or charges remains, and as such, will appear on a criminal background check. Fortunately, New Jersey provides a legal solution for eligible applicants through a process called an expungement, a service Travis J. Tormey provides for his clients on a regular basis.
Depending on the circumstances of your previous case or cases, you may be able to expunge any documentation of the arrests, criminal complaints issued against you, and even convictions for certain offenses, allowing you the move on with your life with a truly clean slate. By completing the necessary procedure associated with the expugement process, which entails filing of an expungement petition with the Superior Court of New Jersey and a series of subsequent steps, Mr. Tormey has assisted many of his clients in successfully expunging their criminal records.
If you meet the necessary criteria, a petition for expungement may be submitted to the Superior Court for approval. If the Superior Judge subsequently signs the order approving your expungement, any documentation related to the offense or offenses listed in your expungement petition is essentially eliminated. After the court enters the expungement order, you are legally permitted to respond to any questions regarding these previous arrests, charges, or convictions with the answer “No.” In addition, if potential employers, agencies, or others seek to verify your statement by a running a criminal background check in the future, you will have a clean record to prove it. It is important to note that there are two exceptions to this rule, applicable only to those pursuing employment in law enforcement or the judicial branch of government.
By enlisting an experienced criminal defense attorney like Mr. Tormey to facilitate this complex legal process, you can ensure that your expungement petition is submitted, substantiated, and resolved with the best chances for a successful outcome, and (in most cases) you never even have to appear in court.
Mr. Tormey is available anytime to discuss your potential eligibility for an expungement in New Jersey. Contact the offices of The Tormey Law Firm at (201)-556-1570 for a free consultation.
Expungement of an Indictable Felony: N.J.S.A. 2C:52-3
The New Jersey Criminal Code authorizes the expungement of a conviction for a disorderly persons (DP) or petty disorderly persons offense (PDP), provided that the applicant meets the necessary criteria prescribed in N.J.S.A. 2C:52-3. An individual who meets the eligibility requirements enumerated in this section will become eligible for an expungement following a 5-year waiting period. It is important to note that this period will commence on the date of conviction, payment of fine, or successful completion of court-imposed conditions, whichever is latest.
N.J.S.A. 2C:52-3 provides, in pertinent part:
(a) In all cases, except as herein provided, wherein a person has been convicted of a crime under the laws of this State and who has not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction, and has not been adjudged a disorderly person or petty disorderly person on more than two occasions may, after the expiration of a period of 10 years from the date of his conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later, present a duly verified petition as provided in section 2C:52-7 to the Superior Court in the county in which the conviction was entered praying that such conviction and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged.
Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding paragraph, a petition may be filed and presented, and the court may grant an expungement pursuant to this section, although less than 10 years has expired in accordance with the requirements of the preceding paragraph where the court finds:
(1) less than 10 years has expired from the satisfaction of a fine, but the 10-year time requirement is otherwise satisfied, and the court finds that the person substantially complied with any payment plan ordered pursuant to N.J.S.2C:46-1 et seq., or could not do so due to compelling circumstances affecting his ability to satisfy the fine; or
(2) 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; the person has not been convicted of a crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense since the time of the conviction; and the court finds in its discretion that expungement is in the public interest, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense, and the applicant’s character and conduct since conviction.
In determining whether compelling circumstances exist for the purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection, a court may consider the amount of the fine or fines imposed, the person’s age at the time of the offense, the person’s financial condition and other relevant circumstances regarding the person’s ability to pay.
Although subsequent convictions for no more than two disorderly or petty disorderly offenses shall not be an absolute bar to relief, the nature of those conviction or convictions and the circumstances surrounding them shall be considered by the court and may be a basis for denial of relief if they or either of them constitute a continuation of the type of unlawful activity embodied in the criminal conviction for which expungement is sought.
(b) Records of conviction pursuant to statutes repealed by this Code for the 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. *(See below for a detailed list of crimes which are ineligible for expungement).
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.
(c) In the case of conviction for the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance or possession thereof with intent to sell, expungement shall be denied except where the crimes involve:
(1) Marijuana, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was 25 grams or less;
(2) Hashish, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was five grams or less; or
(3) Any controlled dangerous substance 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.
(d) In the case of a State licensed physician or podiatrist convicted of an offense involving drugs or alcohol or pursuant to section 14 or 15 of P.L. 1989, c. 300(C.2C:21-20 or 2C:21-4.1), the court shall notify the State Board of Medical Examiners upon receipt of a petition for expungement of the conviction and records and information pertaining thereto.
Indictable Felony Offenses Which are Ineligible for Expungement:
- Criminal Homicide (except death by auto)
- Luring or Enticing
- Human Trafficking
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact: if the victim is a minor or if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim
- Criminal Restraint
- False Imprisonment
- Arson and Related Offenses
- Endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child:
- Causing or permitting a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act
- Selling or manufacturing child pornography
- False Swearing
- Knowingly promoting the prostitution of the actor’s child
- Producing or Possessing Chemical Weapons, Biological Agents, or Nuclear or Radiological Devices (and conspiracies or attempts to commit such crimes)
Eligibility Requirements for Those Seeking an Expungement for an Indictable Felony Offense:
- At least 5 years have passed since the date of conviction, payment of fine, completion of probation, or release from incarceration (applies to the latest occurrence associated with the case)
- You have only 1 indictable charge on your criminal record (which is not ineligible for expungement)
- You have been convicted of 2 or fewer disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses
Contact an Experienced Expungement Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Charges for indictable felonies are considered very serious by New Jersey lawmakers and the public at large. If your case involves a charge that is eligible for expungement and you meet the appropriate guidelines listed above, Attorney Travis J. Tormey can help you to expunge your criminal record, allowing you to truly put the past behind you. Contact Mr. Tormey’s offices at at (201)-556-1570 for a free consultation and take your first step toward a brighter future.