Expungement Guide

New Jersey Expungement

New Jersey Expungement
Expungement of records in the state of New Jersey means the extraction and isolation of all filed records within any court, law enforcement agencies, detention facilities, correctional facilities, and criminal justice agencies that concern an individual's apprehension, detection, arrest, trial, detention, or disposition of an offense in the criminal justice system. According to New Jersey Law 2C:52-15, when an agency or facility is contacted in regards to an individuals records, they are required to concede that no record exists if the record has been expunged. The Superior Court may order the inspection of expunged records in limited circumstances. Expunged records cannot be used in impeachment purposes but can be used in the sentencing of a later conviction. They can also be used when determining the granting or denying of an application into a supervisory diversion or treatment program for further charges, or in the granting of parole.

Records for Expungement
Only certain records in New Jersey are eligible for expungement. These include all records, warrants, complaints, arrests, processing records, commitments, photographs, fingerprints, index cards, and judicial docket records. DNA that resides in a state database that is in relation to the individual's offense outcome as dismissed or reversed can apply to have the records returned. If this request is granted the division must comply with the order and return the records and other identifiable information from the state databank according to New Jersey law 53:1-20.25.

New Jersey Expungement Eligibility
Law-abiding citizens may have their past convictions or arrests erased from police folders and public records. However only certain criminal convictions can be expunged under New Jersey law 2C:52-1 et seq. For instance if there has been a conviction of a misdemeanor more than five years ago and there have been no subsequent crimes, an individual's attorney may petition the Superior Court for expungement. Those who have plead guilty to town ordinances will need to wait at least two years before they petition for expungement. Juvenile delinquent records can also be expunged after a certain amount of time has passed. Minor drug arrests resulting in first-time offender conditional discharge can be expunged after one year since the probation termination or the concluding of court procedures. New Jersey has circumstances where charges can be erased automatically without a waiting period. These include frivolous complaints and arrests where there was no result of a conviction or where charges were dismissed.

Certain indictable offenses cannot be expunged and include crimes of public office, drug crimes--with the exception of hashish or marijuana possession in small amounts--disorderliness after the second offense, kidnapping, luring, enticing, criminal homicide--with the exception of death by vehicle--aggravated sexual assault, criminal sexual contact when the offender is not the parent of the victim, aggravated criminal sexual contact when the victim is a minor, criminal restraint, robbery, false imprisonment, arson and related offenses, endangering the welfare of a child, perjury, endangering the welfare of a child through sexual misconduct by impairing the morals of a child, false swearing, and conspiracy attempts to commit crimes.

See also:
New Jersey Misdemeanors External link (opens in new window)
New Jersey Felony External link (opens in new window)
New Jersey Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)