Sussex County Expungement Lawyers
Expunge a Criminal Record in Newton, New Jersey
The Sussex and Warren County expungement lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm are available to handle your expungement of disorderly persons and/or petty disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanors). Under New Jersey’s expungement laws, there is a five-year waiting period to expunge the conviction disorderly persons and/or petty disorderly persons offenses. Specifically, N.J.S.A. 2C:52-3 sets forth the requirements and expungement procedure of the conviction of disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses in New Jersey and permits the expungement of up to three such offenses. As with all legal processes in New Jersey, the expungement of disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses requires precise compliance with the applicable rules.
NOTE: The law recently changed and in certain circumstances you may be able to expunge a disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense after 3 years, instead of the normal 5 year waiting period. Contact our Sussex County NJ expungement lawyers now for immediate assistance at 973-755-1695.
Expunge a Disorderly Persons Offense in New Jersey
According to N.J.S.A. 2C:52-3, any person convicted of a disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense under the laws of New Jersey who has not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction, may present an expungement application to the Superior Court. The expungement laws in New Jersey set forth that any person convicted of a disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense under the laws of this State who has not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction, or who has not been convicted of a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense on more than two other occasions, may, after the expiration of a period of five years from the date of his most recent conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or release from incarceration for any disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense, whichever is later, present an expungement application to the Superior Court in the county in which the conviction for the most recent disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense was adjudged.
In certain situations, however, there are exceptions to the five-year waiting period. For example, if less than five years has expired from the satisfaction of a fine, but the five-year time requirement is otherwise satisfied, a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense may be expunged if the court finds that the person substantially complied with any payment plan or could not do so due to compelling circumstances affecting his ability to satisfy the fine. Additionally, a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense may be expunged if at least three years have expired from the date of his conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later; the person has not been convicted of a crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense since the time of the conviction; and the court finds in its discretion that expungement is in the public interest, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense, and the applicant’s character and conduct since conviction. Basically this is a showing of “good cause”.
How does the expungement process work?
An expungement is essentially a motion filed in the Superior Court in the county in which you were charged, arrested, and/or convicted. First, we must request a certified disposition from the court showing what charges you had and how those charges were resolved. This must be a certified (stamped) copy that we attach as an exhibit to your expungement petition. Then, we must draft the expungement motion which includes a certification that the client must sign. Once the motion is drafted and the certification is signed, we can file the motion with the court. We must send copies of this motion, certified mail, to all the law enforcement agencies in New Jersey letting them know that we are applying to have your records expunged. These agencies include the local police, attorney general, etc. Then, we will receive a copy back from the court which shows that the motion was successfully filed. At this point, the court will set a hearing date for the expungement. Most expungements proceed “on the papers” so there is no need to appear at the hearing. As long as the prosecutor’s office does not object to the expungement, a Superior Court Judge will sign an order granting the motion to expunge your records. Once we receive this signed order from the court, we must again send certified copies of it to all the law enforcement agencies so that they then remove your records.
Note: The records are not destroyed. They are set aside so they no longer show up on background checks. The expungement process takes a minimum of 90 days but can take up to six (6) months or longer. It depends on the court and the county in which you are filing.