This page was designed to help our clients better understand our New Jersey Young Drug Offender Expungement service. You will find answers to the questions we are most frequently asked. If your question is related to eligibility requirements please take the free online eligibility test.
No. Once an offense has been expunged, state agencies in New Jersey that have records of the offense may not release it to anyone. The records can only be accessed under very limited circumstances. The law will treat the arrest or conviction as though it never occurred under most circumstances.
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.
Once an arrest or conviction has been expunged, you can deny it as though it never existed. However, if you are seeking employment with any court or any law enforcement or corrections agency, you must disclose the conviction.
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 about it.
You have an attorney to (1) make sure it is done right the first time so it does not get rejected or cost you months of delay (2) handle objections from the district attorney (3) send an attorney to court to argue the case if need be and (4) write letters to potential employers letting them know that the case has been reopened and will soon have the case off of your record.
No, we go for you. If the court requests your presence and you are unable to make it then we will request for your presence to be excused.
Once you sign up we have you fill out a questionnaire on your personal online account. The questionnaire asks questions that influence the outcome of the case and allows us to argue the case before a judge. Although some of the questions may seem simple, the more information and detail that you provide in your answers the better we are able to argue the case in your favor.
Typically, five to six months.
We base our estimates of how long a case will take on how long the average is for that service in that state. However, some cases can take less or more time depending on the facts of the case, whether the DA is agreeing or objecting, the age of the case, etc. We work on your case as fast as we can and assist the court and DA in anything they need to get your case heard.
The courts work on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, the sooner you sign up, the sooner it is heard and decided. If it helps, we would be glad to write your employer or potential employer a letter letting them know we have reopened the case and are in the process of having it expunged.
We have an online tracking system that is just for your case or cases. You will have a user name and password for the account and it will have the information specific to the case. Whenever anything happens in your case we post it in your online account so that you can view the status of the case and the progress that is made. If there is no post on your online account then that means that there is no update in the case. For example, once we update your online account to reflect that we have filed the motion with the court we will update the notes when we hear a response from the court or District Attorney. Depending on the court, it can take several weeks to months to hear from the court or District Attorney whether there is an objection, hearing, or anything else. If something is taking longer than usual for the court we will call to obtain status of the case and update your online notes. In addition to posting the status updates in your online account, we will post your case information in the case information so you are aware of the case and future hearings.
Moreover, we post your contract and payment plan information on the online account for you so that you can view all the information and print it.
No, it does not matter. If you have a conviction that is eligible for expungement, it does not matter whether you pled guilty/no contest or were convicted after a trial.
If we are unable to succeed on your case, we have a money-back guarantee for certain services. Please view the pricing for details regarding the money back guarantee.
We can create a payment plan that meets your needs. Please view the pricing for details regarding the payment plans.
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 to do it and we apply that to the cost of any service that you hire us to perform.
“Crimes” in New Jersey are offenses that carry sentences of six months jail or more. Therefore, according to New Jersey law indictable offenses (felonies) are crimes but disorderly person offenses (misdemeanors) are not.
If you have more than one conviction on your record, 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. 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.
You can legally deny that your conviction ever existed. The records will be tightly sealed and not released to the general public.
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.
The court will update its records and send the order to the agencies to comply. The agencies will then updates their records and this normally takes 30 days.
If it is denied, it could be because of (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 it will be in the interest of society to grant you the expungement, 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.
No. An offense that requires sex offender registration in New Jersey is not eligible for expungement.
Yes. Both arrests and convictions are eligible for expungement in New Jersey, as long as the other requirements are met.
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.
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 are prohibited from entrance and further action is 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 record. 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 this 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; so it would be wise to invest in record clearing before applying for a pass. A modest investment in expungement could be the difference between having your request accepted or denied. It 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, it is important to get a case-by-case analysis tailored to your specific facts. To find out if your criminal conviction will impact your immigration case it is imperative you contact a qualified immigration attorney. Our in-house immigration attorney is available to answer questions at 714-617-8395.
You can only expunge certain cases. Typically, you have to show that the conviction was wrongful or unconstitutional. Additionally, a person can apply for a pardon through the President. We do not handle federal cases.
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. 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.
Call us 856-544-9196 or Toll Free 877-573-7273
Please take the free online eligibility test before calling.
Law Firm of Higbee & Associates
811 Church Road, Suite 105
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
*By Appointment Only