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New Jersey’s “Early Expungement”: Factors to Consider

June 1, 2012

Ordinarily, a person convicted of an indictable (“felony”) conviction in New Jersey must wait ten years from the date of their conviction, payment of fine, or satisfactory completion of probation, whichever is later, in order to seek an expungement. In 2010, however, the expungement statute was amended to allow certain convicted persons to have their records expunged after a period of only five years had elapsed.

In order to be eligible for a so-called “early expungement,” the individual must establish that granting such an expungement would be in the public interest. In determining whether or not an early expungement would be in the public interest, courts can consider numerous factors, including: the circumstances surrounding the offense, the applicant’s character and conduct before and/or after conviction, evidence that the conviction has impeded efforts to resume a law-abiding life, the nature of the offense, whether the applicant has engaged in activities that would limit the risk of re-offending (such as whether the applicant has received job education and training and maintained family and community ties that promote law-abiding behavior), the number of years that has passed since the conviction, and the applicant’s performance while incarcerated or while on probation.

Randolph H. Wolf has helped many individuals apply for and receive an early expungement under the 2010 amendments. For example, Mr. Wolf recently represented an individual that was convicted of an indictable crime when he was only nineteen years old. Mr. Wolf focused on the fact that the individual was now a devoted husband and father of three children who is very involved in his children’s lives and, in particular, their sporting activities. Due to his criminal record, the however, the individual was not able to coach his son.

Additionally, Mr. Wolf highlighted that the individual was gainfully employed and that, although he was, by definition, an adult at the time of the offense, the individual committed the offense while still very close in age to being considered a juvenile.

If you or someone you know would like to apply for an early expungement, contact Randolph H. Wolf today for a free consultation. Mr. Wolf will first determine whether or not you are eligible for an early expungement. If so, he will then prepare a brief on your behalf, focusing on how an early expungement in your specific case would be in the public interest.

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