What is an Expungement in New Jersey?Unlike in many states, New Jersey does not destory criminal records. An expungment, however, restricts access to a very small group of persons for very limited reasons.
If you are arrested in the State of New Jersey, authorities take a "mug shot," fingerprints and a sample of your DNA. Whether or not you are convicted of a crime, a record of your arrest can be accessed by the public. Many police departments and jails even post your information on publically accessible websites. In several counties, photographs and arrest details for all inmates are available online unless they are expunged. The links are: Essex County Criminal Arrest Records; Bergen County Criminal Arrest Records; Ocean County Criminal Arrest Records; and, Burlington County Criminal Arrest Records.If you are convicted and serve time in a New Jersey State prison, the New Jersey Department of Corrections makes your conviction available to the public on its website. Click here to search for any State of New Jersey inmate.
Unless your criminal records are expunged, the New Jersey State Police are required to disclose your records to third parties pursuant to the New Jersey Administrative Code (N.J.A.C.) 13:59-1 et seq., which authorizes the dissemination of New Jersey criminal history record information (CHRI) by the New Jersey State Police (NJSP), Identification & Information Technology Section (I&ITS), State Bureau of Identification (SBI) for noncriminal justice purposes. The following entities are authorized to obtain from the SBI all records of convictions in the New Jersey state courts and, regardless of their age, all records of pending arrests and charges for violations of New Jersey laws, unless such records have been expunged:
Do I Qualify for an Expungment?
There are two types of expungements in New Jersey: (1) DNA Records and (2) All other criminal records. If you were arrested only once and not convicted, you qualify immediatley for an expungment of both types of records. If you were convicted, there is an automatic wait period of two (2) months for an ordinance violation; five (5) years for a disorderly persons' offense; and ten (10) years for a felony conviction. The felony time period may be shortened to five (5) years, upon a showing of compelling circumstances pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(a).
If you are convicted of certain felony offenses, N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(b)(certain violent crimes), (c) (must drug offenses) and (d)(a drug or alcohol offense by certain doctors) will not qualify for an expungement.
The New Jersey Expungement Statutes are strictly construed and if not properly followed may result in a denial of the expungmenent.
Criminal charges can haunt you for the rest of your life, but obtaining an expungement can help. At the Newark Law Offices of Kevin Crawford Orr, we can help you make sure your criminal record is expunged. Contact us today to find out more about your options.