WHAT DOES EXPUNGEMENT MEAN?
Many people have a general idea of what expungement is, but might not be aware of its official definition. Also called expunction, expungement is the process in which an individual’s arrest or criminal conviction record is sealed or cleared. This is a court ordered process that is initiated by an experienced expungement attorney. Depending on what state you live in, there may be certain restrictions and requirements related to expungement requests.
WHY SHOULD I PURSUE EXPUNGEMENT?
There are many reasons why people may choose to seek expungement of their criminal records. For some, it is a matter of wanting to start over with a clean slate. For others who want access to the same personal and professional opportunities as non-offenders, it is a matter of preventing unfair treatment from others. Reputable criminal law firms are the best place to start if you are curious about how to clear your record in New Jersey.
IS THERE A WAITING PERIOD?
The answer to this question will largely depend on the nature of the crime you were convicted of. If you have completed your sentence, you may request expungement, but you should be aware that your request will likely be denied if it has been under five years since your sentence completion date. In fact, expungements sometimes are not granted before ten years have passed.
ARE THERE CHARGES THAT ARE INELIGIBLE FOR EXPUNGEMENT?
Because New Jersey judges only have jurisdictional authority within the state of New Jersey, they are unable to expunge records related to crimes committed in other states. They can only rule over expungement requests related to New Jersey criminal records and juvenile records. If you have a DWI conviction, civil order, and disastrous motor vehicle record, New Jersey prohibits these from being expunged.
HOW CAN I GET MY RECORD EXPUNGED?
If you are interested in learning more about the process of getting your record cleared, your first step should be contacting a reputable criminal defense lawyer. He or she will first review your case to determine if it is eligible for expungement. If it is, he or she will file an expungement petition with the courts and submit any supporting documentation that is needed for the court’s review.