NJ Governor Chris Christie recently signed off on legislation that will make it easier for individuals convicted of certain criminal offenses in New Jersey to clear their records and move on with their lives.
The ambitious law was initially approved by the New Jersey Legislature back in September 2015. When the bill came up for debate among state legislators, one of the law’s co-sponsors, Assemblyman Jerry Green, pointed out that allowing released convicts to expunge criminal convictions from their records would actually help to prevent recidivism. An expungement, said Green, “gives people who currently have little chance of finding legal employment the opportunity to leave past mistakes behind them, find a job and be productive.”
As things stood before the law was passed, anyone who had previously been convicted of a crime in New Jersey potentially faced serious difficulties when applying for a job or seeking permanent housing. Now a person convicted of a crime will not have to be punished in perpetuity.
NJ Expungement Waiting Periods
A person who has been convicted of a felony, a disorderly persons offense or a petty disorderly persons offense in New Jersey is required to wait a certain amount of time before seeking an expungement. That waiting period will be considerably shorter under the new law. For example, a person convicted of a felony-level offense, such as armed robbery and aggravated assault, used to have to wait 10 years before applying for an expungement. Now a felony conviction can be expunged after just five years. The waiting periods for less serious offenses are even shorter.
For further information about the new expungement law, view the New Jersey Law Journal article, “Christie OKs Measure Easing Expungement.”
If you have an arrest, or criminal conviction, on your record, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC will work with you to seek an expungement and clear your record. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.