Title 2C The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice - 2C:52-2, 2C:52-3, 2C:52-4, 2C:52-5 and 2C:52-6

Verified 3/12/2014

NEW JERSEY EXPUNGEMENT LAW SUMMARY

New Jersey statutes allow expungement of indictable offenses and disorderly offenses, if the defendant does not have any prior or subsequent indictable offenses, less than 3 convicted disorderly offenses when expunging an indictable offense, and less convictions 4 when expunging a disorderly offense. All fines must be paid, and a waiting period that begins at the completion of the sentence must be met (5 years for disorderly offenses – 10 years for indictable offenses). Not all offenses are eligible.

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Full Title 2C The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice - 2C:52-2, 2C:52-3, 2C:52-4, 2C:52-5 and 2C:52-6

N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2 (Indictable Offenses), 2C:52-3 (Disorderly Persons), 2C:52-4 (Municipal Ordinance Violations), 2C:52-5 (Young Drug Offenders) and 2C:52-6 (Arrests with no conviction)

2C:52-2. Indictable Offenses.

a. In all cases, except as herein provided, wherein a person has been convicted of a crime under the laws of this State and who has not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction, and has not been adjudged a disorderly person or petty disorderly person on more than two occasions may, after the expiration of a period of 10 years from the date of his conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later, present a duly verified petition as provided in section 2C:52-7 to the Superior Court in the county in which the conviction was entered praying that such conviction and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged.

Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding paragraph, a petition may be filed and presented, and the court may grant an expungement pursuant to this section, although less than 10 years has expired in accordance with the requirements of the preceding paragraph where the court finds:

(1) less than 10 years has expired from the satisfaction of a fine, but the 10-year time requirement is otherwise satisfied, and the court finds that the person substantially complied with any payment plan ordered pursuant to N.J.S.2C:46-1 et seq., or could not do so due to compelling circumstances affecting his ability to satisfy the fine; or

(2) at least five years has expired from the date of his conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later; the person has 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 the applicant's character and conduct since conviction.

In determining whether compelling circumstances exist for the purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection, a court may consider the amount of the fine or fines imposed, the person's age at the time of the offense, the person's financial condition and other relevant circumstances regarding the person's ability to pay.

Although subsequent convictions for no more than two disorderly or petty disorderly offenses shall not be an absolute bar to relief, the nature of those conviction or convictions and the circumstances surrounding them shall be considered by the court and may be a basis for denial of relief if they or either of them constitute a continuation of the type of unlawful activity embodied in the criminal conviction for which expungement is sought.

b. Records of conviction pursuant to statutes repealed by this Code for the crimes of murder, manslaughter, treason, anarchy, kidnapping, rape, forcible sodomy, arson, perjury, false swearing, robbery, embracery, or a conspiracy or any attempt to commit any of the foregoing, or aiding, assisting or concealing persons accused of the foregoing crimes, shall not be expunged.

Records of conviction for the following crimes specified in the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice shall not be subject to expungement: Section 2C:11-1 et seq. (Criminal Homicide), except death by auto as specified in section 2C:11-5; section 2C:13-1 (Kidnapping); section 2C:13-6 (Luring or Enticing); section 1 of P.L.2005, c.77 (C.2C:13-8) (Human Trafficking); 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:24-4b. (3) (Causing or permitting a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act); section 2C:24-4b.(5)(a) (Selling or manufacturing child pornography); section 2C:28-1 (Perjury); section 2C:28-2 (False Swearing); section 2C:34-1b.(4) (Knowingly promoting the prostitution of the actor's child); section 2 of P.L.2002, c.26 (C.2C:38-2) (Terrorism); subsection a. of section 3 of P.L.2002, c.26 (C.2C:38-3) (Producing or Possessing Chemical Weapons, Biological Agents or Nuclear or Radiological Devices); and conspiracies or attempts to commit such crimes.

Records of conviction for any crime committed by a person holding any public office, position or employment, elective or appointive, under the government of this State or any agency or political subdivision thereof and any conspiracy or attempt to commit such a crime shall not be subject to expungement if the crime involved or touched such office, position or employment.

c. In the case of conviction for the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance or possession thereof with intent to sell, expungement shall be denied except where the crimes involve:

(1) Marijuana, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was 25 grams or less;

(2) Hashish, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was five grams or less; or

(3) Any controlled dangerous substance provided that the conviction is of the third or fourth degree, where the court finds that expungement is consistent with the public interest, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense and the petitioner's character and conduct since conviction.

d. In the case of a State licensed physician or podiatrist convicted of an offense involving drugs or alcohol or pursuant to section 14 or 15 of P.L.1989, c.300 (C.2C:21-20 or 2C:21-4.1), the court shall notify the State Board of Medical Examiners upon receipt of a petition for expungement of the conviction and records and information pertaining thereto.

Amended 1989, c.300, s.23; 1993, c.301; 1994, c.133, s.6; 2009, c.188, s.1.

2C:52-3. Disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses

Any person convicted of a disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense under the laws of this State who has not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction, or of another three disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses, may, after the expiration of a period of 5 years from the date of his conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or release from incarceration, whichever is later, present a duly verified petition as provided in section 2C:52-7 hereof to the Superior Court in the county in which the conviction was entered praying that such conviction and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged.

CREDIT(S)

L.1979, c. 178, § 110, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by L.1981, c. 290, § 43, eff. Sept. 24, 1981.

2C:52-4. Ordinances

In all cases wherein a person has been found guilty of violating a municipal ordinance of any governmental entity of this State and who has not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction, and who has not been adjudged a disorderly person or petty disorderly person on more than two occasions, may, after the expiration of a period of 2 years from the date of his conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or release from incarceration, whichever is later, present a duly verified petition as provided in section 2C:52-7 herein to the Superior Court in the county in which the violation occurred praying that such conviction and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged.

CREDIT(S)

L.1979, c. 178, § 111, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

2C:52-5. Expungement of records of young drug offenders

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 2C:52-2 and 2C:52-3, after a period of not less than one year following conviction, termination of probation or parole or discharge from custody, whichever is later, any person convicted of an offense under chapters 35 or 36 of this title for the possession or use of a controlled dangerous substance, convicted of violating P.L.1955, c. 277, § 3 (C. 2A:170-77.5), [FN1] or convicted of violating P.L.1962, c. 113, § 1 (C. 2A:170-77.8), and who at the time of the offense was 21 years of age or younger, may apply to the Superior Court in the county wherein the matter was disposed of for the expungement of such person's conviction and all records pertaining thereto. The relief of expungement under this section shall be granted only if said person has not, prior to the time of hearing, violated any of the conditions of his probation or parole, albeit subsequent to discharge from probation or parole, has not been convicted of any previous or subsequent criminal act or any subsequent or previous violation of chapters 35 or 36 of this title or of P.L.1955, c. 277, § 3 (C. 2A:170-77.5) or of P.L.1962, c. 113, § 1 (C. 2A:170-77.8), or who has not had a prior or subsequent criminal matter dismissed because of acceptance into a supervisory treatment or other diversion program.

This section shall not apply to any person who has been convicted of the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance or possession with the intent to sell any controlled dangerous substance except:

(1) Marihuana, where the total sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was 25 grams or less, or

(2) Hashish, where the total amount sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was 5 grams or less.

eff. July 9, 1987.

2C:52-6. Arrests not resulting in conviction

a. In all cases, except as herein provided, wherein a person has been arrested or held to answer for a crime, disorderly persons offense, petty disorderly persons offense or municipal ordinance violation under the laws of this State or of any governmental entity thereof and against whom proceedings were dismissed, or who was acquitted, or who was discharged without a conviction or finding of guilt, may at any time following the disposition of proceedings, present a duly verified petition as provided in N.J.S.2C:52-7 to the Superior Court in the county in which the disposition occurred praying that records of such arrest and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged.

b. Any person who has had charges dismissed against him pursuant to P.L.1970, c. 226, § 27 (C.24:21-27) or pursuant to a program of supervisory treatment pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-12, or conditional discharge pursuant to N.J.S.2C:36A-1, or conditional dismissal pursuant to P.L.2013, c. 158 (C.2C:43-13.1 et al.), shall be barred from the relief provided in this section until six months after the entry of the order of dismissal.

c. Any person who has been arrested or held to answer for a crime shall be barred from the relief provided in this section where the dismissal, discharge, or acquittal resulted from a determination that the person was insane or lacked the mental capacity to commit the crime charged.

CREDIT(S)

L.1979, c. 178, § 113, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by L.2013, c. 158, § 13, eff. Jan. 4, 2014.

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