The Impact of a Criminal Record
The mistakes that you make as a child or young adult can follow you into your adult years. A criminal record can affect your ability to get a job, attend college, or even take out certain loans. If a criminal record is keeping you back, you may have other options available.
What is an Expungement?
An expungement is a process in which the court covers, or seals, a criminal record. The information in this record is only used for further convictions and everyday individuals like hiring managers and background checks will not show the information.
A judge will have to approve your expungement request. Whether or not you are eligible for an expungement will depend on the details of your criminal case.
Expungement Rules for Criminal Charges in New Jersey
Each state has different laws surrounding expungement rules. In New Jersey, you must meet the following in order to be eligible for a criminal record expungement:
- Clean record for at least 10 years
- Ability to show good character
- No more than two offenses in total
Some people may qualify for an early expungement at just five years if all rules are met and you can demonstrate good character and no additional charges.
Expungement Rules for Misdemeanors and Juvenile Charges in New Jersey
Other charges like misdemeanors and juvenile charges may also be eligible for expungement, depending on the details:
Driving Under the Influence Charges
Driving under the influence (DUI) charges are not eligible for expungement. They are not as important to your criminal record after 10 years, but they will remain on file.
Children and teens who make a legal mistake should have the ability to make up for that mistake without it affecting their entire future. If the juvenile would have faced a felony charge as an adult, then they must wait the full 10 year period to apply for expungement.
Adults who are charged with a drug crime may not have had more than a certain amount of the drugs in their possession at the time of arrest. Some drug crimes, however, are not eligible for expungement. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to help you determine your eligibility if you were charged with a specific drug offense.
Violent crimes like arson or murder are not eligible for expungement. Sex crimes are also not eligible and there is no process for removing someone from the sex offender’s registry.
What Happens After an Expungement?
An expungement will seal your record, but your record is still accessible to certain people. This process, however, will seal your information from the following:
- Law enforcement (routine traffic stops)
- Public officials
If you do not seal your criminal record, then the information in it is public for anyone who runs a background check.
Why Hire a Lawyer for a New Jersey Expungement
There are many factors to consider when filing for an expungement. The details of your crime will dictate whether or not you are eligible. Additionally, you want to ensure that your record is properly sealed so that employers are not able to access your information. Whether or not you are able to vote, own a gun, or apply for employment with certain organizations will depend on your expungement. Working with an expungement lawyer will ensure that you submit the necessary information to increase your chances of receiving an expungement.
Contact an Experienced Pemberton Drug Defense Attorney About Your Expungement Drug Crime Charges in New Jersey
Have you been charged with a drug-related offense or violent crime in New Jersey? Was your child charged with a juvenile crime? A criminal conviction can carry with it heavy fines, jail time, and driver’s license suspension! That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified criminal law attorney about your case. The Law Office of Stephen R. Piper, LLC represent clients in Mount Laurel, Pemberton, Moorestown, Delran, Willingboro and throughout New Jersey. Call 856-333-3586 or fill out our confidential online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.