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Expungement
New Jersey Municipal Court Attorney
If you have been convicted of a disorderly persons offense, petty disorderly persons offense, municipal ordinance violation or certain other crimes, you can petition the Court to have your record expunged. If you were arrested, but the charges were dismissed or you were found not guilty at trial, you can have your arrest record expunged as well.
Expungement Process
The expungement process begins with a lawyer filing a petition or motion with the Superior Court. If the statutoryrequirements are met, a full and final expungement can be obtained in approximately 90 days after the petition is filed.
How soon can you file an expungement petition?
  • Disorderly Persons or Petty Disorderly Persons. You must wait five years after the date of conviction or the date your sentence is completed, whichever is later. You cannot file for an expungement if you have been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime or if you have more than three disorderly persons offenses. This includes disorderly persons convictions in other states. N.J.S. 2C:52-3.
  • Municipal Ordinance Violations. You must wait two years after the date of conviction or the date your sentence is completed, whichever is later. You cannot file for expungement if you have been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime or if you have more than two disorderly persons offenses. This includes convictions in other states. N.J.S. 2C:52-4.
  • Crimes. For indictable offenses (felonies) you must typically wait ten years after the date of conviction or the date your sentence is completed, whichever is later. Certain crimes such as DWI, traffic offenses, sex crimes and serious violent crimes can never be expunged. N.J.S. 2C:52-2. Recent amendments to our statute now permit an expungement within five years, when in the public interest, if you have not been convicted of crime, disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense since the date of conviction for the offense you seek to have expunged.
  • Arrest Record not Resulting in Conviction. Your arrest record can be immediately expunged if you were arrested and the charges were dismissed or you were acquitted (found not guilty) at trial. If the charges were dismissed through a conditional discharge or pre-trial intervention (PTI) programs you must wait six months after successful completion of the program before filing your petition.
Effect of Expungement
Generally, once you are granted an order of expungement, the arrest, conviction and any proceedings related to the offense are deemed to never have taken place. This means that when a college or university, government agency, employer or anyone else performs a background check, the conviction will not show up on your record. You can honestly answer "no" regarding criminal convictions in many instances.

However, there are some limited exceptions. For instance, you must disclose the expungement if you apply for a job with the judicial branch of the government or with a law enforcement or corrections agency. You must also disclose the expungement to the judge when seeking acceptance into a supervisory treatment or other diversionary program such as a conditional discharge or Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI). You must also disclose any prior expungement when petitioning the court for another expungement.
To start the expungement process
Contact Lenahan & Rockwell today to speak with one of our experienced and knowledgeable expungement attorneys. In most instances, the entire expungement process can be performed over the telephone or through e-mail or regular mail. If the Court requires an appearance at the hearing, one of our attorneys will appear on your behalf. In rare instances, the Court asks the person seeking the expungement to appear as well.
     With Offices in Bridgewater and Freehold, New Jersey, the trial lawyers at Lenahan & Rockwell represent clients throughout New Jersey, including the cities of Bridgewater, Freehold, Morristown, New Brunswick, Somerville, Edison, Toms River and Elizabeth. Our litigation attorneys also represent clients throughout the communities in and around Monmouth, Essex, Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon, Morris, Union, Mercer, Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, Gloucester, and Ocean counties.
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