As in any legal matter, you want a knowledgeable and experienced attorney handling your expungement. Randolph H. Wolf has expunging clients’ criminal records for over 30 years. Mr. Wolf’s notable accomplishments include a recent win in the New Jersey Supreme Court on behalf of one of his expungement clients.
Click on a link below to learn more about:
- The Benefits of Obtaining an Expungement
- The Effects of an Expungement Order
- Eligibility for an Expungement
- Disqualifications for an Expungement
- Juvenile Delinquency Adjudications
- Special Provisions to Benefit Young Drug Offenders
- Procedure for Obtaining an Expungement
- Legal Fees
- Starting Your Expungement
- Complete NJ Expungement Statute
- 2010 NJ Expungement Revisions
- 2016 NJ Expungement Revisions
- Federal Expungement Statute
If you have been arrested and charged with a violation of the Criminal Laws of the State of New Jersey you may have difficulty obtaining a job, getting credit, or face embarrassment whenever anyone runs a background check on you. If you have a criminal conviction you may be barred from government employment or getting a job as a teacher, nurse, securities broker or any job that requires a security clearance or Professional License. Even if the charges against you were dismissed or you received a Conditional Discharge or were granted entry into the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program, there is still a record of your arrest and subsequent proceedings available that may require you to make embarrassing explanations to prospective employers, lenders, or spouses.
Only the Superior Court of New Jersey can order the Expungement of a criminal arrest or conviction in the State of New Jersey. If the Court enters such an order the offense is deemed never to have happened. If you are asked whether you have ever been arrested, convicted, or charged with a crime or disorderly persons offense, you can legally answer the question, “NO.” If anyone runs a criminal background check on you it will come up as “NO CRIMINAL RECORD FOUND.” The only exceptions to this are if you are applying for a job as a law enforcement officer or in the judicial branch of the government, if you are facing new criminal charges, or if you are seeking another expungement or diversionary program.
New Jersey Statutes limit who can get an expungement. Expungements are generally available if:
- You have been arrested and the charges against you have been dismissed.
- You successfully completed Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) or the Conditional Discharge Program for a drug offense and six months have gone by.
- You were adjudged delinquent (or convicted) of an offense as a juvenile
- You were convicted of a Municipal Ordinance Violation and more than 2 years have passed since your conviction.
- You were convicted of a Petty Disorderly Persons or Disorderly Persons Offense and more than 5 years have gone by since you paid all your fines or completed your probation. You may also be eligible to apply for an “early pathway” expungement for a Petty Disorderly Persons or Disorderly Persons Offense if more than 3 years have passed since you paid all of your fines or completed probation.
- You were convicted of a Crime (Felony) and more than 10 years have gone by since you completed probation or were released from prison and paid all your fines. You may also be eligible to apply for an “early pathway” expungement for a Crime (Felony) if more than 5 years have passed since you completed probation or were released from prison and paid all of your fines.
- You may also be eligible to expunge your entire criminal record, without any waiting period, if you have successfully completed Drug Court in New Jersey
- You meet the requirements for the 2010 Expansion to the Expungement Statute
- You meet the requirements for the 2016 Expansion to the Expungement Statute
You cannot get an Expungement if:
You have more then one felony conviction. You have one felony conviction and more then two disorderly persons convictions.
Your conviction is for first or second degree sale, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute CDS with the exception of less then 25 grams of marijuana or 5 grams of hashish. Please note that convictions for third or fourth degree degree sale, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute CDS are eligible for expungement, however.
You have more then three disorderly or petty disorderly persons offenses.
You have had a prior charge (not the one you are seeking to have expunged) dismissed by way of Pre-Trial Intervention.
You have been convicted of any of these specific felonies under the New Jersey Criminal Code:
- Section 2C:11-1 et seq. (Criminal Homicide), except death by auto as specified in section 2C:11-5
- Section 2C:13-1 (Kidnaping)
- Section 2C:13-6 (Luring or Enticing); section 2C:14-2 (Aggravated Sexual Assault)
- Section 2C:14-3a (Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact); if the victim is a minor, section 2C:14-3b (Criminal Sexual Contact); if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim, section 2C:13-2 (Criminal Restraint) or section 2C:13-3 (False Imprisonment)
- Section 2C:15-1 (Robbery); section 2C:17-1 (Arson and Related Offenses)
- Section 2C:24-4a. (Endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child)
- Section 2C:24-4b(4) (Endangering the welfare of a child)
- Section 2C:28-1 (Perjury)
- Section 2C:28-2 (False Swearing) and conspiracies or attempts to commit such crimes
You can have any one Juvenile Adjudication of Delinquency or arrest expunged if it would meet the requirements talked about above for an adult conviction or arrest. Additionally, you can have your entire Juvenile Record expunged if 5 years have gone by since you were released from custody or supervision, you have not had an adult or juvenile conviction in the last 5 years, you have never been convicted of an offense that would not be eligible for expungement if you had been an adult, you have never had an adult offense expunged, and you have never had adult charges dismissed as a result of Pre-Trial Intervention or a Conditional Discharge.
If you were under 21 years of age at the time you committed an offense of Possession of CDS or of the Sale, Distribution, or Possession with Intent to Distribute less then 25 grams of marijuana or 5 grams of hashish, you don’t have to wait the 10 years for a crime or 5 years for a disorderly persons offense. If more then 1 year has gone by since your discharge from custody or completion or probation or parole and you have not violated any of the provisions of your probation or parole and you have never had another conviction or Pre-Trial Intervention or Conditional Discharge you are eligible to have the offense expunged.
In order to get an expungement a Petition must be filed in the Superior Court. After the Petition is filed it must be served on all of the courts and police agencies involved in the arrest as well as the County Prosecutor and Attorney General. A hearing is generally held within 60 days of the filing of the petition. If there is no objection filed and you meet the eligibility requirements the Court will enter the Expungement Order. This Order then must be served on all of the governmental agencies who need to remove the case from their records. The New Jersey state police will generally remove the records from their computer within 90 days of receipt of the Order. The state police then report the removal to the Federal Computer System maintained by the FBI, known as the NCIC, which then removes the records from their system.
The Law Firm of Randolph H. Wolf will offer you a reasonable fixed fee for the expungement of your criminal record so long as you meet the eligibility requirements. This fee will include all filing fees, costs, and court appearances. There will absolutely be no other charges so long as you provide us with a complete list of your criminal offenses.
Telephone us at 732-741-4448 to discuss your situation personally with an expungement attorney at the Law Office of Randolph H. Wolf. . If you would prefer, you can fill out our expungement interview form to provide us with complete information.
The New Jersey Expungement Statute is found in N.J.S.A. 2C:52-1 et seq. The information provided above is really a simplification of the Statute as it applies to most common situations. The complete statute (links to a .pdf file) is more complicated and has more exceptions and specific requirements then can be easily summarized. Randolph Wolf will be pleased to evaluate your specific situation and advise you whether you qualify for an expungement. There is never a charge for this consultation.
In January 2010 the New Jersey Legislature expanded the eligibility for expungement. The new law permits expungement for certain persons who were not eligible under the old law and relaxes certain time limits. The changes permit you to apply for an expungement:
* If you have a felony conviction more then 10 years ago and are otherwise eligible, but, did not pay all of your fines, you can apply for an expungement if you have substantially complied with a payment plan or can show compelling circumstances why you did not do so.
* If you have a felony conviction and at least 5 years have expired from the date of your conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later; and you have not been convicted of a crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense since the time of the conviction; and the court finds in its discretion that expungement is in the public interest, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense, and your character and conduct since conviction, an expungement may be granted.
* If you have a conviction for the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance or possession with intent to sell, expungement shall be permitted where the conviction is of the third or fourth degree and where the court finds that expungement is consistent with the public interest, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense and your character and conduct since conviction.
Expungement applications under this new law will be more difficult then if you qualify under the normal statute. We will have to supply documentary evidence to the court of your character and what you have accomplished in terms of education, employment, family responsibilities, and community involvement, since the date of your conviction. The court may require you to appear for a hearing if it feels it necessary. Click here for more information on the 2010 revisions.
2016 Expansion to the Expungement Statute
In April of 2016 the New Jersey Legislature again expanded the eligibility for expungement. The new law permits expungement for certain persons who were not eligible under the old law and relaxes certain time limits. The changes permit you to apply for an expungement:
- Of up to one felony conviction and two disorderly or petty disorderly persons offenses at the same time. Under the old law, anyone convicted of a felony and up to two petty or petty disorderly persons offenses could expunge the felony conviction only. The petty or petty disorderly persons offenses would therefore remain on your record. Under the new law, however, as long as at least 10 years have passed since you finished your sentence for the most recent offense, you can apply to have all three of your convictions expunged. In addition, you may be eligible to apply for an “early pathway” expungement for all three convictions so long as 5 years have passed since you finished your sentence for the most recent conviction.
- If you have a petty disorderly or disorderly persons offense and at least 3 years have expired from the date of your conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later; and you have not been convicted of a crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense since the time of the conviction; and the court finds in its discretion that expungement is in the public interest, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense, and your character and conduct since conviction, an “early pathway” expungement may be granted.
- 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.”
- If you have successfully completed Drug Court in New Jersey, you may be eligible to expunge your entire criminal record upon completion of Drug Court, regardless of how many convictions you have.