If you have a criminal record, it can create challenging life consequences. If you have a criminal record because you were convicted, arrested, or both, it may be possible to get a criminal record expungement in NJ.
The reason to consider expungement of your criminal record is simple:
- If you apply for a job, you will probably be asked if you’ve ever been arrested or convicted of a criminal offense. You might not get the job because of a prior criminal record.
- If you want to rent an apartment or home, your landlord might also ask questions about a prior criminal record. He or she can deny your lease application because of the criminal record.
What is Expungement?
Criminal record expungement differs from sealing your criminal records in New Jersey. An expungement means your records are erased. If your records are sealed, it’s still possible for a government agency with a court order to review your records.
After your criminal record is expunged, it’s unnecessary to disclose an arrest or resulting conviction in most cases. Your potential employer or landlord won’t need to learn about your criminal record because, after an expungement, the record doesn’t exist. If a potential employer asks “Were you previously convicted of a crime?” it’s possible to honestly respond “No.”
An expungement may offer you with a kind of fresh start. If expungement is an attractive idea:
- Investigate your arrest or conviction records.
- Check with the law enforcement agency that previously handled the arrest or county criminal court.
- Ask about your eligibility for expungement. A criminal defense attorney can help you to determine if the offense for which you were arrested or convicted is eligible for expungement. In most instances, a felony conviction won’t be expunged.
- Ask when you’re eligible for expungement. You record may be eligible for expungement after you’ve served probation or jail time ordered. If your probation period was shortened, expungement may be possible even sooner.
An experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney can help you petition the court for expungement of your criminal record.
In some rare instances, even after your record is expunged, it may still appear in some situations, such as certain licensing boards or police departments.
Obtaining a Certificate of Actual Innocence says the individual’s criminal record shouldn’t have existed in the past. For example, Jill is arrested for spraying paint on the walls of her school but the charges for her actions are later dismissed. She isn’t guilty of vandalism. In this case, obtaining a Certificate of Actual Innocence is a potent form of expungement.
If you have questions about expungement in New Jersey, contact Hanlon Dunn Robertson Schwartz, the New Jersey Expungement Lawyers at 800-481-9840 or via our online contact form to discuss your potential case now.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.