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Changes to Expungement Eligibility Requirements in NJ

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Criminal Record document with Expungement written on it

What is an Expungement?

An “expungement” removes criminal records from public access, which means they will not show up in background checks unless you apply for jobs in law enforcement, correction, or the N.J. State Judicial Branch. 

As of June 2020, New Jersey’s clean slate law allows any person who had not been convicted in over ten (10) years to have his/her criminal record expungement. But before criminal records can be wiped clean, individuals must meet certain requirements. 

What are the Waiting Periods for Expungements?

The following are the waiting periods for expungement based on several types of convictions under the new law in New Jersey:

  • Clean Slate (entire record of arrest and conviction(s)) – except crimes that are not subject to expungement – Ten (10) years. 

  • Indictable Conviction (and up to 3 Disorderly Persons (“DP”) offenses or Petty Disorderly Persons (“PDP”) offenses) – Five (5) years. 

  • Indictable Conviction (and up to 3 DP’s or PDP’s) – and the court must find that compelling circumstances exist to grant the expungement – At least four (4) years. 

  • Multiple crimes (indictable) or a combination of one or more crimes and one or more DP’s or PDP’s, and all are listed in a single judgment of convictionand no subsequent conviction for another crime or offense – Five (5) years. 

  • Multiple crimes or a combination of one or more crimes and one or more DP’s or PDP’s, which were interdependent or closely related in circumstances and committed as part of a sequence of events that took place within a short period of time, and no subsequent conviction for another crime or offense – Five (5) years. 

  • DP or PDP’s (up to 5 DP’s) – Five (5) years. 

  • DP or PDP’s (up to 5 DP’s) - and the court must find that compelling circumstances exist to grant the expungement – At least three (3) years. 

  • Ordinances – and has not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime, and not adjudged a DP or PDP (on more than 2 occasions) – Two (2) years. 

What is Time Passed?

“Time Passed” is the time elapsed since the most recent conviction, payment of any court-ordered financial assessment (fine, fee penalty, restitution), satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later.  

It is important to note: if you still owe fines, the court may still grant your expungement provided you were on a court-ordered payment plan and not willfully non-compliant. In such a case, the court may enter a civil judgment against you, collectable by the State Treasurer. 

If you are seeking an expungement in New Jersey and wondering if you may be eligible or how an attorney can help you to successfully carry out the process for expunging your criminal record, contact the Law Office of Louis G. DeAngelis at (201) 254-8484

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