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Early Expungement Granted for Client Convicted of Theft by Deception, Conspiracy to Write Bad Checks, and Transfer of a Simulated Document

April 22, 2013

The Law Office of Randolph H. Wolf recently represented an individual applying for an expungement after less than ten years had elapsed since the client completed his sentence for the convictions.  Under the old New Jersey expungement law, felony convictions were not eligible for expungement if less than ten years had elapsed.  Thus, the client would have had to wait until January of 2016 to expunge the conviction.

In 2010, however, the Legislature enacted N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(a)(2).  Under that statute, felony convictions are eligible for expungement five years after completion of the sentence imposed so long as expungement is consistent with the “public interest,” giving due consideration to the nature of the offense and the petitioner’s character and conduct since conviction.

The attorneys at the Law Office of Randolph Wolf submitted a brief and appeared in Middlesex County Superior Court on the client’s behalf to argue in favor of the expungement, pointing out that the “nature of the offense” and the applicant’s “character and conduct since conviction” both weighed in favor of expungement.  We pointed out that the client’s felony convictions were for a relatively minor property crime, there was no indication that violence was involved. 

With respect to the client’s character and conduct, we pointed out that since the offense in question, the client has had absolutely no trouble with law enforcement.  He is now 40 years old and married with three children.  The client is very involved in his children’s lives and volunteers to help at school functions.  He also served as a mentor at his church.  Finally, we noted that the client was employed as a janitor at his church and that he wished to obtain a better job so that he could provide for his family.  However, he has had difficulty obtaining employment due to his criminal record.  The Court agreed that the client had met the public interest showing in this case and granted the expungement.

If you are applying for an early expungement, please note there are several requirements that must be complied with under current case law.  In order to meet the public interest showing, you must supply with court with plea and sentencing transcripts, a presentence report, and letters of support from individuals in the community, among other documentation.  Although an appearance is not typically required for expungements, they are almost always required when you are applying for a public interest expungement.

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