This is a list of answers to the most commonly asked questions that we receive regarding criminal record expungement in New Jersey. If you don't find the answer to your If your question is related to eligibility requirements please take the free online expungement eligibility test. If you would like us to expunge your New Jersey criminal record, please see our New Jersey record expungement service.
No, the exact disposition of your case does not matter. If you have a conviction that is eligible for expungement, it does not matter whether you pled guilty, pled no contest or were convicted after a trial.
We will be glad to work with you to get a copy of your record and to review what can be done. We charge a researching fee, which we would apply to the cost of any service that you hire us to perform.
“Crimes” in New Jersey are offenses that carry sentences of six months or more in jail. Therefore, according to New Jersey law indictable offenses (felonies) are crimes, but disorderly person offenses (misdemeanors) are not.
If you have more than one indictable offense (felony) conviction on your record, then you are not eligible for expungement in most cases. The exception is if you have less than three “disorderly person” or “petty disorderly person” offenses. (N.J.S. 2C:52). Please take the free online eligibility test to see if you are eligible to have your case expunged.
There is no such thing as a “felony” in New Jersey. The State abolished the felony/misdemeanor classification years ago. Rather, in New Jersey, there are only “indictable offenses” (serious offenses) and “non-indictable offenses” (less serious offenses, sometimes called “disorderly person offenses”).
That said, under exceptional circumstances you may be able to reduce the sentence you received under Rule 3:21-10 of the New Jersey Rules of Criminal Practice. This must be filed 60 days after you judgment of conviction unless there is good cause shown by both the defendant and prosecuting attorney. We do not handle this service.
Yes. Both arrests and convictions are eligible for expungement in New Jersey, as long as the other requirements are met. (N.J.S. 2C:52).
If the court requires a hearing be held for your case, we will have an attorney appear on your behalf. If the judge specifically requests your presence and you are unable to attend, we will file a motion to request your appearance be excused.
The average expungement case takes seven to eight months in New Jersey.
The time frame depends on the facts of the case, whether the prosecutor objects to the expungement, the age of the case, etc. We work on your case as fast as we can and will assist the court and prosecutor in anything they need to get your case heard.
If you want your record removed right away from some of the online background check websites, our Criminal Background Check Removal service can remove it from 30 websites in about 45 days, and it does not require that your record be expunged, so we can start today. You can read more about it by clicking here.
The courts work on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, the sooner you sign up, the sooner your case is heard and decided. If helpful, we will gladly write your employer or potential employer a letter letting them know we have reopened the case and are in the process of having your record expunged.
You can legally deny that your conviction ever existed. The records will be tightly sealed and not released to the general public. (N.J.S. 2C:52-27).
Cases are denied for the following reasons (1) an inaccuracy in the court file, (2) an inaccuracy in the application, (3) you have not followed all of the correct procedures, (4) the court does not believe greanting an expungement will be in the interest of society, or (5) you or the particular offense is otherwise not eligible for expungement.
If the case is denied, we evaluate the reason for the denial and determine the best way to proceed. If we do not believe that re-filing would be successful or we recommend the person wait longer to re-file, then there may be a money-back guarantee for certain services.
Yes, if you are ever charged with another offense in the future, expunged records can be accessed and then used by courts and prosecutors for purposes of setting bail, preparing a pre-sentence report, or determining your sentence for that future offense.(N.J.S. 2C:52-21).
Once an arrest or conviction has been expunged, you can deny any existence of record. If, however, you are seeking employment with any court or any law enforcement or corrections agency, you must disclose the conviction. (N.J.S. 2C:52-27).
No. An offense that requires sex offender registration in New Jersey is not eligible for expungement. (N.J.S. 2C:52-2).
No. In fact, motor-related offenses are not eligible for expungement in New Jersey. These include any offense that falls under Title 39 of the New Jersey Code, which are motor vehicle and traffic regulation offenses. DUI is included in Title 39 and not eligible for expungement. (N.J.S. 2C:52-28).
If you have been convicted of minor offenses (including assault, dangerous driving, DUI, theft, shoplifting, unauthorized possession of firearms, possession of illegal substances, etc.) or indictable criminal offenses (including assault with a deadly weapon, manslaughter, etc.) you may be prohibited from entrance into Canada and further action will be required to find out whether you will be allowed entrance. The Canadian government has entered into an information sharing agreement with the United States, so the Canadian government will have whatever information the United States has on file. Therefore, the first thing you should do is clear your criminal record to the fullest extent possible before submitting to a background check. The benefit of setting aside will show the Canadian government that the matter was resolved and no longer considered a conviction and improve the odds of not being denied entry to Canada or being stuck at the border for lengthy interrogation.
The Border Patrol has discretion in granting or denying Sentri passes. So, the only thing we can say for sure is that it would help; investing in record clearing before applying for a pass would be advantageous. A modest investment in getting a set aside could be the difference between having your request accepted or denied. The set aside will show that you have resolved all matters with the court.
In New Jersey, your voting rights are automatically restored once you complete your sentence. However, getting an expungement will also restore your voting rights.
Criminal violations may have severe consequences for immigrants, even if the crime is expunged/vacated/sealed. Even minor offenses such as petty theft can make someone deportable or inadmissible, while more serious offenses such as burglary may not have the same consequences. Since each case is unique, getting a case-by-case analysis tailored to your specific facts is imperative. To find out if your criminal conviction will impact your immigration case, contacting a qualified immigration attorney is vital. Our in-house immigration attorney is available to answer questions at 714-617-8395.
Yes. New Jersey courts have ruled that an expungement restores your gun rights, along with your other basic rights such as voting and serving on a jury. A person whose criminal conviction has been expunged may be entitled to a permit to purchase a firearm" (N.J.S.A. 2C:52–27 Application of Hart, 265 N.J. Super. 285, 288, 626 A.2d 483, 484 (Ch. Div. 1993))
However, there is also a lifetime prohibition from the United States government (Lautenberg Amendment to the Violence Against Women Act), which prohibits firearm ownership of those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence as defined by the federal law. The federal definition is narrower than New Jersey's definition, so your domestic violence conviction in New Jersey might not trigger the federal law. Expungement in New Jersey does not lift the federal prohibition.
State licensing agencies will not have any access to records that have been expunged. Thus, once expunged, you can deny the existence of the offense and the agency will likely not ever find out. (N.J.S. 2C:52-27).
Section 19 of the FDIA (Federal Deposit Insurance Act) allows banks and other financial institutions to bar prospective and current employees who have had “Breach of Trust” or "Dishonesty" convictions from jobs that they are otherwise qualified for even if they had the conviction expunged.
If you think that you might have a “breach of trust” or "dishonesty" conviction on your record and were denied a position or were terminated from a financial institution because of that conviction, then there still is another way you may be able to obtain that job. You can apply for a waiver from the FDIC. It is important to speak with an attorney about your specific circumstances to see if you would qualify for such a waiver from the FDIC.
No. Once an offense has been expunged, state agencies in New Jersey that have records of the offense may not release the records to anyone. The records can only be accessed under very limited circumstances. The law will treat the arrest or conviction as though the offense(s) never occurred under most circumstances. (N.J.S. 2C:52-27).
If what shows up on your background check is important to you, you will want to consider two additional services that we offer.
Criminal Background Check Removal will remove your information from 30 online background check websites, including some the most well known websites, such as BeenVerfied.com and LexisNexis PeopleWise. This service takes about 30 days, and we can remove your information even if your record has not been expunged or cleared by the court. You can read more about this service by clicking here.
Expedited Record Clearance Update is an essential step to take after your record is expunged if you are concerned about what appears on commercial background checks (the kind used by most non-government employers). Courts do not notify background check companies that a record has been expunged or sealed. We will take the steps necessary to have your expunged record removed from more than 600 background check providers within 14 days. You can read more about this service by clicking here.
The court will provide you a written order for expungement, which directs all agencies that have records of the offense to act according to the order. (N.J.S. 2C:52-15).
The court will update their records and send the order to the agencies to comply. The agencies will then update their records, which normally takes 30 days.