Can I Expunge my Arrest Record in NJ?
One of the most common mistakes that an individual makes is that when their criminal charges are outright dismissed, either as a result of a plea bargain or a trial, they do not expunge the underlying arrest. Even if the charges are outright dismissed, the underlying arrest will remain on an individual’s criminal history. That arrest could prevent an individual from obtaining their dream job or even obtaining certain professional licenses. If you have been charged with a criminal offense like simple assault, harassment, disorderly conduct, theft, terroristic threats, stalking or shoplifting and the charges are ultimately dismissed, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help clean your record. Mr. Oliver, one of the firm’s founding partners recently presented a seminar for the New Jersey State Bar Association on the pitfalls of expungements in New Jersey. Our attorneys fully understand how important expunging one’s record is. We serve all of Mercer County, including towns like Hamilton, Lawrence, Princeton, Hightstown, East Windsor, West Windsor and Hopewell. If you would like to come into our office and discuss your options with one of our experienced Mercer County, New Jersey expungement lawyers then please contact us at (609) 789-0779. Perfecting an expungement in New Jersey takes at least three months. So, time is of the essences, do not wait until it is too late to file. Now here is some important information on expunging an arrest that does not result in a conviction, including what if any waiting period must be satisfied.
How Do I Expunge My Arrest in Mercer County NJ?
The expungement laws in New Jersey can be rather confusing at times. The legislatures have chosen to set not only time tables but limits on the number of charges that an individual may expunge. These time tables can become confusing and as such, anyone seeking to expunge their criminal history should speak to an experienced Mercer County criminal defense attorney about their options. The governing statute in New Jersey for expungements is N.J.S.A. 2C:52 and the section that covers arrests not resulting in a conviction is 2C:52-6. The statute states in pertinent part that:
- When a person has been arrested or held to answer for a crime, disorderly persons offense, petty disorderly persons offense, or municipal ordinance violation under the laws of this State or of any governmental entity thereof and proceedings against the person were dismissed, the person was acquitted, or the person was discharged without a conviction or finding of guilt, the Superior Court shall, at the time of dismissal, acquittal, or discharge, or, in any case set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection, upon receipt of an application from the person, order the expungement of all records and information relating to the arrest or charge.
In 2015, the legislature decided to make things much easier for anyone who falls under this subsection of the statute. The expungement is not just automatic but there is in essence no waiting period. The process does vary depending on what type of court actually dismisses the charges, here is a breakdown of the process:
- If the matter took place in a municipal court, the municipal court shall provide the individual, upon request, with appropriate documentation to transmit to the Superior Court. Upon receipt of the documentation, the Superior Court shall enter an ex parte order expunging all records and information relating to the individual’s arrest.
However, if an individual’s charges are outright dismissed as a result of a plea bargain that involves the conviction of other charges, then the individual would need to file the expungement through the normal chain of command and it would take at least three months.
Expungement Attorneys in Trenton NJ
It is crucial for anyone that has been arrested for a crime, whether it be for aggravated assault, heroin possession, cocaine distribution, lewdness or shoplifting, that they expunge from their criminal history the underlying arrest as soon as they are eligible. If you would like to discuss your eligibility with one of our experienced Mercer County expungement lawyers then please contact us directly at (609) 789-0779. We serve all of Mercer County, including towns like Lawrence, Hamilton, Princeton, Pennington, Hopewell, West Windsor, East Windsor, Trenton and Ewing. Remember time is of the essence, expungements take several months to perfect.