South Jersey Expungement Lawyers
Experienced Attorney Helps Clients Obtain Expungements in Camden, Burlington and Gloucester County, NJ
You’re human which means you make mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes result in an arrest or criminal conviction. At Aydelotte & Scardella Law LLC we understand how certain mistakes can haunt you for the rest of your life.
But people can also learn from their mistakes. And our laws provide, in some instances, for those with criminal records to move on with their lives. That’s why the attorneys at Aydelotte & Scardella Law LLC work hard to help eligible individuals expunge their criminal records.
But what exactly is the expungement process? How long does it take? And is an expungement something you will be able to get? The New Jersey expungement attorneys at Aydelotte & Scardella Law LLC can help you answer those questions.
What Is a NJ Expungement and What Does it Do?
In simplest terms, an expungement allows an individual with a criminal history to act as if they do not have a criminal history. This can be useful when applying for something where a background check may occur. This might happen when applying for a certain job or an apartment, for instance.
One misconception about expungements is that it completely removes or erases the criminal history as if it never happened. Practically speaking, this is impossible. There will be judges, court officials, law enforcement officers and lawyers who will have a memory of your arrest, conviction or sentencing.
Then there are electronic and paper records that are still filed away somewhere after an expungement takes place. Therefore, some record of your criminal past may exist, even if it’s on a few sheets of paper in a file cabinet in some government warehouse basement.
A more accurate way of looking at expungements is to think of it not as erasing a criminal history. Instead, it may allow you to answer “no” when asked if you have ever been arrested, convicted of a crime or participated as a defendant in a criminal proceeding.
Put another way, expungement is a legal process that often requires other people and organizations to treat you as if you never had a criminal record.
How to Get an Expungement in Cherry Hill, NJ
The eligibility requirements for an expungement will depend on whether you were convicted of a crime or not. If your arrest did not result in a conviction, you may be able to get an expungement if you:
- Had the charges dismissed;
- Were found not guilty; or
- Otherwise had the charges discharged without being found guilty.
Some exceptions may apply. For instance, you may not be eligible for an expungement if you were found to lack mental capacity or were found not guilty as a result of a plea bargain involving another criminal offense.
If you were convicted of a crime, you must wait a set period of time before asking for expungement. Also, only certain offenses are eligible for expungement. These include:
- Minor drug offenses: The waiting period can be as little as one year.
- Disorderly person offenses: The waiting period is usually five years. In certain situations, a three-year waiting period may apply.
- Municipal ordinance violations: The waiting period is usually two years.
- Some indictable offenses. The waiting period is usually six years, although in some cases, you can get an expungement after five years. An indictable offense is a criminal offense that includes fourth, third, second and first degree crimes.
Certain crimes are not eligible for expungement. These are typically more serious crimes, such as:
- Major drug offenses
- Sex crimes
Also, most crimes involving motor vehicles will not be eligible for expungement in New Jersey.
Do You Think an Expungement of Your Criminal History Is a Possibility For You?
If you have the opportunity to have your New Jersey criminal record expunged, consider yourself fortunate. But even if you don’t think this is an option for you, you might be surprised.
The expungement attorneys at Aydelotte & Scardella Law LLC are well versed in handling criminal cases and especially in getting criminal records expunged.
To get a grasp of what your options are, please contact us. The first meeting is free. During this consultation, we can listen to your case and help you figure out if an expungement is something you can obtain.
Frequently Asked Questions About NJ Expungements
Yes and no. In most contexts, if your criminal record is expunged, you can act as if it never happened. N.J.S.A. § 2C:52-27 states that:
“Unless otherwise provided by law, if an order of expungement is granted, the arrest, conviction and any proceedings related thereto shall be deemed not to have occurred, and the petitioner may answer any questions relating to their occurrence accordingly, except as follows:
a. The fact of an expungement, sealing or similar relief shall be disclosed as provided in section 2C:52-8b.
b. The fact of an expungement of prior charges which were dismissed because of the person’s acceptance into and successful completion of a supervisory treatment or other diversion program shall be disclosed by said person to any judge who is determining the propriety of accepting said person into a supervisory treatment or other diversion program for subsequent criminal charges; and
c. Information divulged on expunged records shall be revealed by a petitioner seeking employment within the judicial branch or with a law enforcement or corrections agency and such information shall continue to provide a disability as otherwise provided by law.”
In plain English, this means unless there is another law requiring disclosure, you can state you have never been arrested, convicted or gone through any criminal proceeding. However, three exceptions exist when you are trying to:
1. Get another criminal conviction expunged.
2. Enter into a supervisory treatment or diversionary program.
3. Get a job in law enforcement, the court system or corrections.
For the most part, yes. The process for expunging adult criminal records will be the same as expunging juvenile criminal matters. If you would like to expunge both adult and juvenile matters, you can make both requests in the same petition.
When handling juvenile and adult criminal proceedings, the court may use alternative terms to describe a similar event. For example, an arrest as an adult is known as “taking a juvenile into custody” for a juvenile defendant.