Bergen County Expungement Attorney

Expungement services in New Jersey

Having a criminal record can haunt you for the rest of your life, effectively ruining opportunities for the jobs you want, certain housing, loans, getting into school, among many other factors. With a criminal record, you are burdened by having to explain yourself each time you submit an application that assesses your background. This can be devastating to your future. However, New Jersey allows some individuals to obtain an expungement. This is a process in which all records relating to a criminal offense are isolated, only accessible by limited law enforcement agencies, helping you move forward with your life. An expungement can open up the door to a successful future with a clean slate. Of course, not everyone can obtain an expungement. The process is document-heavy and requires the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Rem Katcher Law Group has significant experience handling expungement petitions in New Jersey. If you are eligible for an expungement, we can help. Contact Rem Katcher Law Group.

Expungement Eligibility in New Jersey

Only those who have committed low-level crimes are eligible for expungement. If you were arrested for a crime of any level but were never convicted, you may be able to petition for expungement. The waiting period before being able to file a petition varies. For example, disorderly persons offenses can be expunged after a 5 year period and municipal offenses can be expunged after just 2 years. However, when it comes to indictable offenses or felonies, you will have to wait 10 years to apply for an expungement. Some crimes that are never eligible for expungement include:

  • Murder
  • Kidnapping
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault
  • Robbery
  • Arson
  • Perjury
  • Distribution, sale, or possession with intent to distribute controlled substances

In some situations, individuals who were arrested for a crime as a juvenile may also be able to petition for expungement. If you are eligible for an expungement, is important that you retain the services of a criminal defense attorney because there are many steps to take in order to expunge a crime.

Expungement Process

If you want to clear your criminal record, speak with an attorney who can help you determine your eligibility. You will need to obtain all of your records from the crime, which can be acquired by the attorney who initially handled your case or through the Superior Court Criminal Case Management Office where your arrest occurred. If arrested as a juvenile, you will have to get your records from the Superior Court Family Division Office.

Your attorney can help you file the necessary forms, including the Petition for Expungement, the Order for Hearing, and the Expungement Order. All forms must be filled out and filed with the court. You must also write a cover letter describing the attached documents as well as the purpose of the form enclosed. You must distribute copies of these filed documents to any government agency that was involved with your case. Eventually, you will have a hearing for the court make a decision on your Petition for Expungement. Though simplified in this writing, the expungement process is overwhelmingly document-heavy and detail oriented. It is best to consult with an attorney to discuss these matters.

Changes to New Jersey’s Expungement Law in 2020

Beginning on June 15, 2020, significant changes will go into effect for expungement laws in the state of New Jersey. These changes include the following:

  • An individual’s most recent criminal conviction can be expunged if there is an unrelated prior conviction. The most recent conviction must be expugnable.
  • Many marijuana-related convictions will be considered disorderly persons offenses for the purpose of expungement, instead of being treated as criminal convictions.
  • Marijuana-related disorderly persons convictions will not be counted as disorderly persons when considering what convictions are eligible for expungement.
  • The waiting period to expunge a criminal conviction will be reduced to 5 years.
  • The waiting period for an “early pathways” expungement will be reduced to 4 years and the applicant must demonstrate “compelling reasons”.
  • The number of disorderly persons offenses that can be expunged will be increased to 5
  • The “clean slate” expungement will allow for expungement of all expungable convictions after the passage of 10-years from the most recent conviction.

Contact a New Jersey Expungement Attorney

Rem Katcher Law Group understands the burden of a criminal record. We want to help you clear your slate and get a fresh start on life. An expungement can open many doors and allow you to live the rest of your life without the unfortunate weight of a criminal record. If you have questions about eligibility for an expungement, contact Rem Katcher Law Group today.