As a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative, you know just how important it isto have a clean driving record, but you also know how difficult it is to keep it that way. Your position probably requires you to spend a significant amount of time in your car, or – as some Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives have described it – your “mobile office.” With the increased time spent driving, the likelihood of obtaining motor vehicle infractions is also increased, however. Even if you consider yourself safe driver, sometimes motor vehicle infractions are inevitable, especially when you spend hours on the road on a daily basis.
For Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives, however, having any violations of your record – even those non-moving violations which carry zero points under New Jersey law – can pose significant problems with your employment. Pharmaceutical companies have strict policies in place when it comes to the Motor Vehicle Records (“MVRs”) of their employees – and for good reason. Insurance rates for at-risk drivers are higher.
New Expungement Laws in New Jersey Effective on April 18, 2016, Reduce Waiting Time and More
On January 19, 2016, Governor Chris Christie signed into law Bill A-206, which contains significant amendments to law governing expungements in New Jersey. These changes will take effect starting April 18, 2016. The brief overview below highlights some of the more important changes made to New Jersey expungement law, N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2, et. seq.
It is important to be mindful that the Internet is full of websites and blogs that unfortunately contain conflicting and inaccurate information about the new expungement law in New Jersey. Do not be mislead by those by other attorneys and/or authors of the articles containing inaccurate information. The attorneys at the Law Office of Randolph H. Wolf have an accurate understanding of the new law, the full text of which can be read here
1. Simultaneous Expungment of a Criminal Conviction and Up to Two Disorderly Persons Convictions. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(a), an individual can now expunge one felony conviction and up to two disorderly or petty disorderly persons offenses. Under the old law, anyone convicted of a felony could expunge their felony conviction, however, any disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses would remain on their record. In essence, the felony conviction barred the expungement of any disorderly persons or petty disorderly person offenses. With the new law, however, so long as it has been at least ten years from the date of the “most recent” conviction, payment of fine, completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration for the crime and any disorderly persons offenses, which is later, you may petition the court to expunge the felony conviction, as well as up to two disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons convictions. In addition, you may apply for an “early pathway” expungement five years after the “most recent” conviction, payment of fine, completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration for the crime and any disorderly persons offenses, which is later, with a “public interest” finding.
2. Early Pathway Expungement for Disorderly Persons Convictions. With respect to the expungement of disorderly persons offenses, under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-3, if the individual has not been convicted of a prior or subsequent felony, they may apply for an expungement of up to 3 disorderly or petty disorderly persons offenses 5 years after completion of their sentence. If an individual has been convicted of a prior or subsequent felony, however, they must apply for the expungement of any disorderly persons offenses pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2 above, which means they cannot have more than two disorderly persons offenses and at least 5 years (for an early pathway expungement) or 10 years (for a standard expungement) have passed since completion of the sentence for the most recent conviction. For those individuals who have not been convicted of a prior or subsequent felony, however, the new law also allows for “early pathway”expungement of disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons convictions, so long as the petitioner demonstrates that expungement is in the “public interest” and at least 3 years have passed the date of the “most recent” conviction, payment of fine, completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, which is later.
3. Payment of Fines for Disorderly Persons Convictions. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-3(b)(1), if it has been less than 5 years since satisfaction of your fine for the disorderly persons offens(es) you are seeking to expunge pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:52-3 above, but the 5 year time requirement for completion of your sentence is otherwise satisfied, the court may nonetheless grant your expungement if you can establish either: (1) that you substantially complied with your fines; or (2) you could not do so due to “compelling circumstances.”
4. Dismissed Cases. For arrests that resulted in dismissal, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:52-6, the court is now required at the time of acquittal, dismissal, or discharge, upon the application of the individual, to order the automatic expungement of all records relating to the offense. Automatic expungement will not apply to those charges that were disposed of before the law goes into effect, however. Thus, a petition for expungement will need to be filed with the court for charges that were dismissed prior to April 18, 2016. Moreover, any person that did not apply an automatic expungement pursuant to this section at the time of the dismissal, acquittal, or discharge must subsequently file a petition for expungement with the court.
5. Drug Court Expungements. The new law also amends New Jersey’s law governing Drug Court, which is codified at N.J.S.A. 2C:35-14. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-14(m), those individuals that successfully complete a special term of probation are eligible for expungement of all records relating to all prior arrests, detentions, convictions, and proceedings for any Title 2C offense. In order to be eligible under this provision, the person must have satisfactorily completed a substance abuse program and must not have been convicted or any crimes or disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses during their term of special probation. In Addition, the individual, would not be eligible for expungement if he or she was ever convicted for an offense that is barred from expungement pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(b), which bars the expungement of many violent crimes. Even those individuals who were successfully discharged from a term of special probation prior to the law’s effective date may apply for expungement relief under this section.
If you have any questions about this new law or its impact on your eligibility for expungement, contact the experienced expungement attorneys at the Law Office of Randolph H. Wolf today at (732) 741-4448
for a free consultation.
January 16, 2016 · Posted in Blog
According to the Transportation Security Administration (“TSA”) 3 to 5 percent of the roughly 30,000 monthly applicants that apply for the Pre-Check or Global Entry programs are rejected for various reasons. Many times these applicants are rejected due to inaccurate or faulty information that surfaces during criminal background checks. For example, pursuant to TSA’s policies, they do not consider you to have been convicted of an offense, and will therefore not use such an offense against you, if your finding of guilt was overturned on appeal, fully pardoned, or expunged. Nonetheless, the TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry Appeal lawyers at the Law Office of Randolph H. Wolf have noticed that some applicants have been wrongfully rejected as a result of convictions that have been overturned on appeal, pardoned, or expunged. Read more
Due to the numerous statutory requirements that exist in order to obtain an expungement in New Jersey, many individuals are unfortunately not eligible to have their record expunged. This can be due to the fact that the have a disqualifying conviction, have to many convictions, or because they have not yet met the time requirement for expungement. If you are not eligible for expungement for any of these reasons, you may still be able to obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:168A-1.
Certificates of Rehabilitation are usually sought by individuals that have been denied a professional license due their criminal history. These professional licenses could include licenses to become a driving instructor, taxi cab driver, pharmacist, nurse, cosmetologist, plumber, physical therapist, physician’s assistant, court reporter, dentist, or an accountant, among others. Read more
Even other lawyers have a difficult time understanding what exactly intellectual property law covers. There are three main categories that fall under the umbrella of intellectual property: patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Trade secrets are also encompassed within the area of intellectual property.
While there are specific sets of laws enacted by Congress for each of these three categories of intellectual property, patents and copyrights are a little more special because the origin of both comes from Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution, which promotes “the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”
Protection for a patent is a little different than anything else. Unlike copyright and trademark, which give the filer the exclusive right to use the copyright or trademark in a certain way or geographical location, a patent gives the filer the exclusive right to exclude anyone else from using the invention. The three types of patents are design, utility, and plant patents. They term of a patent is twenty (20) years. Read more
On December 4, 2015, Randolph H. Wolf was selected to teach an expungement seminar on behalf of the Monmouth County Bar Association. The seminar was taught to approximately 30-40 other New Jersey lawyers who were interested in learning more about expungements in New Jersey in return for continuing legal education (“CLE”) credit. During the lecture, Mr. Wolf talked about the expungement process in New Jersey, eligibility requirements, and recent expungement case law and developments. Read more
There are very few defenses to a refusal charge in New Jersey. In order to be found to have refused a breath test in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4, the State must prove the following four essential elements:
(1) probable cause to believe that the defendant had either been driving or was in control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated;
(2) police officers in fact arrested the defendant for driving while intoxicated;
(3) officers informed the defendant of the consequences of refusing to submit to a breath test and subsequently request that defendant submit to a breath test; and
(4) the defendant refused to submit to the breath test.
[State v. Marquez, 202 N.J. 485, 503 (2010).]
If you are arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI)
, however, it can be a confusing and intimidating situation. There are many questions that may run through your mind, such whether or not you have a right to refuse the test or consult with an attorney before deciding whether or not to submit to the breath test. In fact, the various statements read by police officers to individuals arrested for suspicion of DWI can often compound this confusion.
Police officers first usually read the DWI the Miranda warning, followed by the “implied consent” warning. While the Miranda warnings state that a defendant has the right to remain silent and the right to consult with an attorney, the “implied consent” warning specifically informs the suspect that the right to remain silent and the right to consult with an attorney do not apply to the taking of breath tests.
The New Jersey lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) community faces a number of potential challenges that other communities do not have to deal with. In addition to prejudice, legal conundrums and gray areas unfortunately exist. As of 2015, same-sex marriages are recognized in New Jersey and across the county. Although many of the past issues and questions facing the LGBT community have been resolved with the ability to get married, issues nonetheless remain.
For example, under the current state of law in New Jersey, transgender individuals are not able to change their gender marker on their birth certificates without having undergone full sexual reassignment surgery. Surgical transition, however, requires costly medical procedures that are not usually covered by health insurance. This requirement, in turn, creates barriers for both middle and lower-income transgender individuals. Moreover, aside from the prohibitive costs associated with surgery, there are several other reasons why transgender individuals elect not to have surgery. In fact, almost two-third of transgender individuals do not undergo reassignment surgery.
Under certain situations, individuals in New Jersey can apply for the expungement of their mental health commitment records. The intent of these provisions is to eliminate any stigmas that might attach to a person who was committed to a psychiatric hospital. Expungement may be possible regardless of whether a commitment was voluntary or involuntary in nature. In addition, it may be possible to expunge determinations of dangerousness.
There are many reasons why people wish to expunge their mental health records. For example, once the information is expunged, any disabilities relating to firearms are removed. Thus, if you have been disqualified from either purchasing or possessing a firearm under the federal NCIS Improvement Amendment Act of 2007, an expungement of your mental health record will relieve you from any federal firearms disability. Moreover, if you reside in New Jersey and have been disqualified from obtaining a firearms identification card pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3(c)(3), or denied purchase of a firearm, an expungement of your mental health record will likewise relieve you from the disqualification. Even if your mental health record has been expunged, however, it is important to note that you must nonetheless disclose that you have a history of civil confinement or commitment on your firearms permit application in New Jersey.
The Traffic Signal Was Yellow When I Entered the Intersection.
It has happened to all of us. You’re in a hurry, the traffic signal is yellow, and you think you can make it. Suddenly, just as you are either approaching the intersection, or passing through the intersection, the light turns red.
Did you technically run a red light?
A ticket in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-81 (failure to observe traffic signal) is very similar to one for N.J.S.A. 39:4-105 (failure to stop for traffic light) and police officers typically write for either one of these violations when a driver runs a red light in New Jersey.
The penalties for running a red light in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-105 or for failing to observe a traffic signal in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-81 are actually quite serious and could end up costing you a great deal. Thus, it is important to be aware of these consequences and to hire an experienced traffic attorney to fight the ticket.
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