A criminal record can follow you through life. This can make it difficult to do important things, especially when it comes to the job market. To rectify this, many people turn to expungement. Read on to learn more about the process of expungement and what updates have been made to New Jersey’s expungement laws in 2020.
What is Expungement?
Expungement is a process that allows you to essentially seal your criminal record. This means that your record will only be accessible to certain members of law enforcement. This would allow you to move on with your life without worrying about your criminal record. That being said, some crimes cannot be expunged. These crimes include:
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Distribution, sale, or possession with intent to distribute controlled substances
What are the new Laws?
2020 has brought some changes to New Jersey’s expungement laws. These updates include:
- Several marijuana-related convictions will now be considered disorderly persons offenses rather than criminal convictions when it comes to expungement.
- If you have received an unrelated conviction prior to your most recent conviction, you may be able to have the most recent conviction expunged.
- You now have to wait 5 years from the date of conviction to request an expungement, rather than the previous 6 years.
- “Early pathways” expungements will now be reduced to 4 years after conviction, as long as the applicant can provide “compelling reasons” for the expedited expungement.
- You can now have up to five disorderly persons penalties expunged from your record.
- The “clean slate” expungement will now allow individuals to expunge all expugnable offenses 10 years after their most recent conviction.
What is the Process of Expungement?
If you wish to expunge your record, you will need to complete the following requirements:
- File the Petition for Expungement, the Order for Hearing, and the Expungement Order
- Write a cover letter detailing all of the documents the court will file
- Distribute copies of these files to any government agency that was involved in your case
- Attend the hearing to obtain a decision on the expungement petition
If you or a loved one has a criminal record and you would like to have it expunged, reach out to our firm today to discuss your options.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
Thomas DeMarco & Associates, LLC is an experienced Camden County criminal defense law firm located in Mt. Ephraim, New Jersey. We understand how potentially damaging a criminal can be, which is why we pride ourselves on our willingness to fight for our client’s rights. Our firm handles all criminal matters and is ready to provide you with our knowledgeable legal counsel. Do not hesitate to contact our firm to discuss your legal situation.