Governor Murphy Signs Historic Law Banning New Jersey Landlords From Asking Records About Criminal Records
July 26, 2021
The most obvious consequences of criminal charges include legal fines and jail time. However, there are many other factors that defendants often forget. One of these is how having a criminal record can impact your career and living opportunities.
Most people know that a background check can prevent you from finding employment in certain careers. However, it can also prevent you from living in certain places. This limits a person’s ability to move on after they have a criminal record.
What Does the New Law Include?
Governor Phil Murphy recently signed a law that now prevents landlords from prohibiting renters based on their criminal record. New Jersey landlords can no longer inquire about an applicant’s criminal history before considering them as a tenant. The bill, known as Ban the Box Bill, only allows landlords to ask about registered sex offender history status or meth-related drug charges.
What Is the Goal of the New Law?
The goal behind this bill is to increase racial equity and to avoid housing discrimination. It also aims to break the barrier that makes it difficult for those with a criminal record to re-enter society. Without career opportunities or housing options, the rates of recidivism are very high. This type of discrimination can also have a lasting effect on generations to come, contributing to the racial disparities in a lot of communities.
Details of the Law
It is important to understand what the new law includes, and does not include. The law does not prevent landlords from doing a background check. Instead, landlords can only do a background check after they have made a conditional offer. The only offenses on a criminal record that they can use to decline offering housing is those with an indictable offense in the first degree.
Additionally, the first-degree offense must have occurred within the last six years, or it cannot be used to decline housing. If a crime is of the second or third degree, it can only be considered if it were within the last four years. Crimes of the fourth degree can only be considered if they were within the last year. While landlords can still discover the criminal record of potential tenants, they are encouraged to consider the type of crime, and how long it has been. Additionally, they are required to consider how their criminal record would impact being a household tenant. If the landlord does decide to rescind their offer, they must explain why they did so.
Tenants have more opportunities for reporting unfair discrimination under the new laws. Unfair housing discrimination can be reported to the Attorney General’s office.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you are currently dealing with potential criminal charges, it is crucial that you talk with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. In addition to the potential jail time that you could receive, a permanent criminal record can also lead to career and housing difficulties. A criminal defense lawyer may have other options available that save you the difficulties that come with a record.
Contact an Experienced Hamilton Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Criminal Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with criminal charges in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Aydelotte & Scardella Law LLC have successfully represented clients charged with criminal charges in Hamilton, Audubon, Rosemont, Nottingham, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 246-5576 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 109 E. Atlantic Ave Audubon, NJ 08106, as well as an office located in Hamilton, NJ.
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.
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