After my Record is Expunged, Can the Record of my Arrest or Conviction Ever be Disclosed?

March 17, 2014 · Posted in Blog · Comment 

Written by: Randolph Wolf

Expungement clients often ask the attorneys at the Law Office of Randolph H. Wolf whether or not their expunged records can ever be disclosed.  The short answer is: Yes.  Although your records were expunged, they are not actually destroyed and they can be accessed under certain circumstances.  Those circumstances, however, are very limited and are established by statute.  They are as follows:

1.    If you apply for another expungement.

If you apply for another expungement, your expunged records may be used by the court to determine whether or not you are eligible for a subsequent expungement.  The information will only be disclosed to the court and those parties that are entitled to notice of your expungement.  Those parties would include the New Jersey State Police, the prosecutor, the police of the municipality where the offense was committed, and the court in which the original proceeding was heard.

2.    If a claim has been filed with the Violent Crimes Compensation Board.

If a claim has been filed against you with the Violent Crimes Compensation Board, your expunged records may be supplied to that board.

3.    When the subject matter of your expunged record is the subject of pending litigation.

Access to your expunged files may be permitted when they are the subject of pending litigation.  In order to have the expunged information disclosed, however, the party seeking disclosure must demonstrate good cause and a compelling need for the records.  As an example, permission to inspect expunged files under this exception may be granted when a person being sued for malicious prosecution based on charges that were the subject of an expungement order.  Permission to inspect an expunged record might also be granted pursuant to this exception when the person seeking the records is being sued for libel based on what was written about the charges made or the conviction.  Expunged records, however, will not be disclosed when the purpose is solely to impeach a witness.

4.    If you apply for a diversionary program, such as Conditional Discharge or Pretrial     Intervention.

If you are subsequently arrested and are applying for a diversionary program in the State of New Jersey, such as Conditional Discharge or Pretrial Intervention, your expunged records may be used by a court to determine eligibility for these programs, which usually require the absence of a criminal record.

5.    For purposes of setting bail and determining sentencing.

If you are subsequently conviction of a criminal offense, your expunged records may be disclosed if requested by a judge, prosecutor, or probation department for purposes of sentencing.  Additionally, expunged records may be disclosed to a Parole Board.  The Parole Board is entitled to use the records and give them the same weight as they would have had if they were not expunged.  The Parole Board, however, does not have the right to obtain expunged records of arrests that did not result in a conviction, such as when the charges were dismissed or you were found not guilty.

6.    To the Department of Corrections when assigning you to a correctional institution.

Your expunged records may be released to a correctional department for purposes of classifying and assigning you to a correctional institution.

7.     If you are applying for a position in law enforcement, corrections, or the court system.

If you are applying for a position in law enforcement, corrections, or the court system, you are required to disclose expunged matters on your employment application.  This does not necessarily mean that you are barred from ever receiving a job in those areas.  Unless a statute specifically states that a prior arrest or conviction is disqualifying (and very few do), then disclosure of the expunged information does not automatically disqualify you.  You can explain that the matter has been expunged.  The government agency will then consider your application and either approve it or reject it.

Expunged records do not need to be disclosed when applying for a position in any other profession, so long as it is not within law enforcement, corrections, or the court system.  Professional license applications (other than to practice law) also do not need to disclose expunged matters.

As can be seen, these situations are very limited and involve access of your expunged record by the court or correctional systems.  They do not permit private employers or other third parties to access your information.  Moreover, so long as you remain law-abiding, the vast majority of these exceptions would not apply to you.  The Law Office of Randolph H. Wolf has extensive experience and knowledge in the processing and consequences of expungements.  Call us today if you have questions about your case, or click here to complete an expungement interview form online and we will help you determine if you qualify for expungement.

Military DUI’s in New Jersey

March 9, 2014 · Posted in Blog · Comment 

Written by: Randolph Wolf

Being convicted of a DUI as a member of the military can carry a variety of negative consequences, both professionally and civilly.  Military clients often contact Randolph H. Wolf to aggressively defend against military DUI convictions with several questions about the consequences they face.  This article will provide a brief overview of those consequences.

There are two types of military DUI cases: those where a military member is arrested by the civilian police for DUI and those where a military member was arrested for DUI while on base.  The procedures and consequences depend on which type of case you fall under. Read more

Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

March 2, 2014 · Posted in Blog · Comment 

Written by: Randolph Wolf

Although some states have begun legalizing marijuana for both medical (such as New Jersey) and recreational use (such as Colorado), much research has not yet been conducted on the effects of driving while under the influence of marijuana.  Answers to important questions such as how dangerous it is, how to test for impairment due to marijuana, and how the risks compare to driving while intoxicated, have been slow to reach the general public.  Read more

Charging Rent in Excess of a Rental Control Ordinance: Violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act

February 24, 2014 · Posted in Blog · Comment 

Written by: Randolph Wolf

Randolph H. Wolf recently represented a client who lived in a rent-controlled building in New Jersey.  The client entered into a lease with his landlord in 1996.  The initial monthly rent was $765.00.  Each year thereafter, the client renewed his lease with the landlord and, with each renewal, the landlord increased the monthly rent.  The client recently discovered that these increases in rent violated the Red Bank Rent Control Ordinance and retained Randolph H. Wolf to recover the excess rent payments.  Based upon the legal rent calculation provided under the ordinance, the client had overpaid rent in the amount of approximately $50,000.00.

Randolph H. Wolf brought suit against the landlord not only for the excess rent payments, but also for violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 et seq.  This is because if a landlord increases a tenant’s rent in violation of the local rent control ordinance, the landlord can be found to have violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.  This can have very costly consequences, including the awarding of treble (or triple) damages to the tenant along with attorney’s fees and costs.  Thus, Randolph Wolf brought suit for treble damages in excess of $150,000.00 as well as attorney’s fees and costs. Read more

The Right to a Speedy Trial in New Jersey: Legal Groups Pushing for Set Time Limits

February 18, 2014 · Posted in Blog · Comment 

Written by: Randolph Wolf

It is frequently stated that the millstones of justice turn exceedingly slow.  Moreover, in New Jersey, unlike most other jurisdictions (including the federal government), there is no fixed time limit on when criminal cases must be brought to trial.  Recently, however, New Jersey legal groups have begun pushing for such time limits.  The New Jersey Office of the Public Defender, through a committee headed by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, have proposed setting time limits.  Read more

Make Sure You Remove Snow and Ice from Your Entire Vehicle

February 12, 2014 · Posted in Blog · Comment 

Written by: Randolph Wolf

…Not Just Your Windshield

Many people are unaware of this, but the law in New Jersey requires you to remove the snow and ice from your entire car – not just the windshield – before operating a motor vehicle.  N.J.S.A. 39:4-77.1 requires motorists to remove snow and ice from the entire vehicle before traveling.  Since this law took effect in October of 2010, over 3,000 tickets have been issued for this violation.

Most drivers assume that as long as their windows are clear, they are safe.  As snow or ice dislodges from a vehicle, however, it has the potential to strike another vehicle or a pedestrian and can cause significant injury and/or property damage.  Indeed, snow and ice accumulations create dangerous conditions for those who are struck by ice or snow or for those who try to divert these dangers. Read more

Indemnification Clauses in Construction Contracts in New Jersey and Their Enforceability

February 5, 2014 · Posted in Blog · Comment 

Written by: Randolph Wolf

Indemnification clauses are common in many types of contracts. They shift, or allocate, risk or loss from one party to another. Construction contracts often involve various contracts and agreements that are entered into between the owner, architect/engineer, contractor, and the subcontractor. These agreements usually contain indemnification clauses. When a loss or injury takes place, an analysis of the various indemnifications provisions will determine which party was contractually bound to bear the risk of loss.

It is important to understand that not all indemnification provisions will be upheld by a court. Historically, indemnification provisions are not favored by courts. If a court finds that the language in an indemnification provision is unclear and capable of two meanings, it will often construe the provision in the manner that is less favorable to the party seeking indemnification. Additionally, if a court finds that the terms of the indemnification provision are unfair, it will label the clause null and void as against public policy. Thus, if you are a design professional, an owner, or a contractor/subcontractor – and you wish to shift the risk of loss to another party – it is vital that you have an attorney review the contract to ensure that: (1) its language is clear and unequivocal; and (2) the clause does not violate public policy. Moreover, if you are the party agreeing to indemnify another party, it is vital to have an attorney review the contract to ensure that the agreement says what want it to say and is not over-broad. Read more

Who Is Responsible for a Dangerous Condition Located in a Multi-Tenant Commercial Business Center?

January 30, 2014 · Posted in Blog · Comment 

Written by: Randolph Wolf

Premises liability law can often be complex, especially when there are several parties involved. The Law Office of Randolph H. Wolf represents a client that was injured when he sustained serious injuries after he fell into a sinkhole located in the parking lot of a multi-tenant commercial business center. The sinkhole was located in the loading dock area directly behind one business, let’s call them “Business A” Another business, “Business B,” however, had frequently utilized the area in question as well. Business B., in fact, had directed our client, a crane mechanic, to go this specific area on the day of the accident in order repair a crane that was located there. Both Business A and Business B were leasing the premises.

Randolph H. Wolf filed suit against Business A, Business B, and the owner of the parking lot. Soon thereafter, Business B moved to dismiss the claims against it on the grounds that it was not responsible for maintaining the area in which the client’s injury occurred. Business B argued that they could not be liable because they did not own or have responsibility to repair or maintain the property in question and the accident occurred in an area outside its unit. Neither ownership nor control is the sole consideration, however. Read more

Randolph H. Wolf Challenges Warrantless Blood Draw in DWI Case

January 24, 2014 · Posted in Blog · Comment 

Written by: Randolph Wolf

Randolph H. Wolf was recently retained to represent a client who had been involved in motor vehicle accident and was subsequently charged with DWI.  The police escorted the injured client to the hospital where a blood test was taken which indicated that the client was intoxicated at the time of the accident.  Randolph H. Wolf recently filed a motion in the municipal court, seeking to suppress the blood test results on the basis that they were improperly obtained without a valid warrant and without the consent of the defendant.

The United States Supreme Court first considered the Fourth Amendment restrictions on blood tests in Schmerber v. California, 384 U.S. 757, 86 S.Ct. 1826, 16 L.Ed.2d 908 (1966), where a blood sample was drawn from a defendant suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol.  Noting that search warrants are ordinarily required for searches of homes, the Court reasoned that absent an emergency, no less should be required where intrusions into the human body are concerned, even when the search was conducted following a lawful arrest.  Thus, absent emergency circumstances (or “exigent circumstances”), a warrant will typically be required for blood tests.  Read more

New Jersey Supreme Court Issues Opinion in In the Matter of Expungement Application of D.J.B.

January 17, 2014 · Posted in Blog · Comment 

Written by: Randolph Wolf

Previously, we wrote about our expungement case, In the Matter of Expungement Application of D.J.B., which was being heard by the New Jersey Supreme Court.  The Court was considering whether an individual who has been adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile is eligible to have an adult felony conviction expunged.  As previously discussed, expungement applications were often complicated by juvenile offenses, with most prosecutors offices in the state arguing that juvenile adjudications bar the expungement of an adult criminal conviction.

To recap, as a teen, the client was adjudged delinquent on several occasions.  Those adjudications were for offenses that, if an adult had committed them, would have constituted indictable convictions (or felonies) for burglary, theft, and various CDS offenses.  The client also had an adult record.  At the age of 18, he pled guilty to fourth-degree receiving stolen property.  At the age of 22, he pled guilty to two counts of contempt, a misdemeanor (or disorderly persons) offense. Read more

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