Getting a professional license, such as a nursing license or a physical therapy license, can be difficult in New Jersey if prior convictions come up during your criminal background check. You also may be unable to get a certain job or apartment if you have prior convictions. In certain cases, New Jersey allows you to erase a prior conviction or charge from your criminal record. The process, called an expungement, seals your arrest and conviction record. It also removes all records on file related to your conviction or arrest from:
- New Jersey courts
- New Jersey State Police
- Police departments
- Correctional or detention facility
Receiving an expungement is getting a clean slate, a way to start over. With an expungement, the investigation, arrest, detention, deposition or trial records of the conviction or arrest are gone. New Jersey’s Fontanella, Benevento, Galluccio & Smith is committed to helping you get a fresh start. We have successfully obtained expungements for hundreds of others and we can help you.
Ineligible Expungement Crimes
There are some crimes that aren’t eligible for an expungement in New Jersey such as:
- Criminal homicide (doesn’t include vehicular homicide)
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Criminal restraint
- Criminal sexual contact (only if the victim was a minor)
- Possession of a controlled dangerous substance (with intent to distribute)
- False imprisonment
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child (if convicted of child pornography or sexual contact)
- Distribution of a controlled dangerous substance
Types of Possible Expungements
You can expunge your arrest record after a two year waiting period, if you were acquitted of the charge. Indictable offenses, crimes in the second, third or fourth degrees, can be expunged if you have no other indictable offenses on our record. You can also expunge:
- Petty and disorderly persons offenses
- Municipal ordinance violations
- Juvenile delinquent records
- Pre-trial intervention
- Conditional discharge (only for drug offenses)
- Any drug possession case or distribution cases when you were 18 to 21 years old
If you have more than one indictable conviction on your record, you’re not eligible for an expungement. Also, if you have a conviction on your criminal record outside the state, you may not be eligible.
Speak with an expungement attorney in New Jersey who is well-versed in expungement laws in New Jersey to see if you can have your charges or convictions expunged. Fontanella, Benevento, Galluccio & Smith will review the facts and file an expungement petition.
Waiting Period for an Expungement
Before you are eligible for an expungement, New Jersey requires you to wait a specific period of time.
The time depends on the offense.
10 years from the completion of your sentence including probation and payment of all fines
Disorderly or Petty Persons Offenses
Five years from completion of your sentence and payment of all fines
Two years from the completion of your sentence and payment of all fines
Conditional discharge (only for drug offenses)
Six months after the successful completion of your rehabilitation program
Drug possession and certain distribution (between 18 and 21 years old)
One year from completed sentence and payment of all fines
Six months after program completion