Somerset County Expungement Attorney

Having a criminal history can cause all sorts of problems. It can prevent someone from gaining meaningful employment, receiving a promotion, obtaining professional licenses and can even cost someone their job. That is why it is crucial that once an individual is able to erase their criminal history that they take advantage of it. Expungements are anything but quick in New Jersey. In fact, at a minimum, the expungement process will take six months to perfect. If you have been convicted of a crime in Somerset or Hunterdon County or else where in New Jersey and you would like to speak to one of our expungement defense lawyers about your options, then please contact us at (908) 533-1064 or contact us online.

Looking to Consult with a Lawyer about an Expungement in Somerville

Expungement laws are governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:52 and as you will see, they are anything but straightforward. In fact, simply understanding what offenses are expungable and when can be confusing, even for an attorney. Not only does New Jersey make certain crimes non-expungable but they also set different time frames for eligibility purposes, depending not on the type of offense in question but the degree of the offense. If you have been convicted of a crime like possession of marijuana, shoplifting, disorderly conduct, theft, simple assault, possession of heroin or aggravated assault and would like to know if you are eligible for an expungement in New Jersey, then please contact us at (908) 533-1064. We serve all of Somerset County, including towns like Warren, Hillsborough, Bernards, Bernardsville, Bridgewater, South Bound Brook, Bound Brook, North Plainfield and Watchung. As always, our initial consultations are free of cost, so if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

When Can I get an Expungement in NJ?

Now here is some key information on expungements in New Jersey, including the time frames for eligibility.

  • Arrests not Resulting in a Criminal Conviction:
    Anyone looking to expunge an arrest under this subsection will not have to wait any specific period prior to filing.
  • Township / Borough Ordinances
    Anyone looking to expunge a Borough Ordinance will need to wait at least two years from entry of the guilty plea before filing for an expungement.
  • Diversionary Program: PTI / Conditional Discharge / Conditional Dismissal
    To expunge a diversionary program in New Jersey the individual must first wait at least six months prior to filing for the expungement.
  • Disorderly Persons Offenses: New Jersey version of a Misdemeanor
    In order to expunge a disorderly persons offense under this subsection the individual will need to wait at least three years prior to filing for an expungement.
  • Indictable {Felony} Offense:
    In order to expunge a felony in New Jersey the individual will need to wait at least five years prior to filing for an expungement if good cause can be shown, if not the individual must wait 10 years.

How to Expunge a DWI from in New Jersey?

Unfortunately, New Jersey’s expungement laws only apply to certain criminal and borough ordinance offenses. In other words, traffic offenses in New Jersey cannot be expunged, including driving while intoxicated and refusal to submit breath sample cases. This is due in large part as they are not included on an individual’s criminal history but instead they are located on their driver’s abstract. In addition, final restraining orders cannot be expunged as well but they can be vacated by way of filing a formal motion. For more information on how to vacate a restraining order in Somerset County, please click the link.

What Happens if an Expungement is Granted in NJ?

If an individual is successful in petitioning the court to expunge their criminal history, then their record is cleared and they can act as if the events that lead to the conviction never occurred. In other words, once an expungement is granted, the individual can legally answer the typical “Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a crime” question as “NO”. In theory, if an individual is applying for a gun permit and they were able to secure an expungement, they would be able to check the box that inquires about past convictions as a “no” as well. With that being said, it is important to note here though that certain governmental agencies, including the Courts will always have access to see expunged records but the expunged records cannot be used against you in a criminal courtroom.

Do I have to Appear in Court For an Expungement?

Often our office is contacted by an individual who is seeking an expungement but they have since moved out of State and coming back in to appear in Court would create a hardship. The vast majority of expungements can be done without having to make a formal appearance in a courtroom. Only contested expungements will require a formal hearing in Court, which will in turn require that the individual make an appearance as well. This is more typical in hearings in which the individual will be applying under the “early pathway” whereby “compelling reasons” must be provided in order to reduce the traditional time bars. At least in these situations, you will be better suited to know the likelihood of having to appear in Court for a formal hearing on your eligibility for an expungement.

Need to Consult with an Attorney About How to Expunge a Criminal Record in NJ

Whether you have participated in the conditional discharge program or been convicted of a criminal offense like simple assault, harassment, receiving stolen property, possession of cocaine or shoplifting, the Somerset County criminal defense attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help expunge your record. Although the courts have made it easier over the years to expunge criminal records in New Jersey, they can still become rather complicated at times. As such it is recommended that you speak to an attorney about your options. Our office serves all of New Jersey, including Somerset County, including Bridgewater, Hillsborough, Franklin, Somerset, Watchung, Warren, Manville and Somerville. We are available at (908) 533-1064 for a free initial consultation.