Expungement is the process by which a past criminal conviction is removed, isolated, or changed so that it no longer shows as a conviction on your criminal record. Certain records held by New Jersey courts, detention or correctional facilities, law enforcement agencies, and criminal or juvenile justice agencies can be expunged. In most cases, when an expungement is granted, the record in question is treated as if it has not occurred.
The expungement process can take several months, but it is often worthwhile, particularly if you have a single offense on your record that happened some time in the past. The process begins with the filing of a Petition for Expungement, which must be filed in the county where the arrest or prosecution occurred. A person seeking expungement will also need to gather information about the case to be expunged, including the date of the arrest, the offense for which the arrest occurred, paperwork and identification numbers related to the original case, and the specific sentence you received.
When seeking an expungement in New Jersey, it is wise to work with a lawyer who has experience with the criminal justice system, including expungements. Your lawyer can help you navigate the process more efficiently, which can help to shorten the time it takes for you to receive your expungement.
Your lawyer can also help you gather the information necessary to file a Petition for Expungement, such as copies of the original court files, which can save you time. Tracking down these records, particularly if they involve a juvenile offense, may require you to call or visit several different county offices. Experienced attorneys, however, are familiar with the most likely locations of juvenile records and can often locate these items more quickly.
A criminal record can mean that a past mistake, one that you learned from long ago, continues to affect how you live your life today. But it may not have to. Contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer from Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC to learn more about the expungement process and whether you’re eligible for an expungement. Contact us to schedule your free initial consultation. We offer direct access to our attorneys 24 hours a day, just call our office at (908) 322-7000 to reach us.
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.