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, if you have a conviction that is eligible to be expunged, whether you pled guilty or no contest or were convicted after a trial does not matter.
For a small researching fee, we can help you determine what is on your record and what we can do to help. The researching fee would be applied towards the cost of any prime service you hire us to handle for you.
“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, petty disorderly person offenses and municipal ordinance violations are not.
Eligibility depends on the highest level of conviction on your record. If you have no indictable offense conviction, then you may expunge up to five disorderly or petty disorderly persons convictions. If you have one indictable offense conviction, then you may also expunge up to three disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons convictions. You are generally eligible for relief even with multiple cases. (N.J.S. 2C:42). Please take our online eligibility test to see what you are eligible for.
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”). N.J. Stat. 2C:52-2, 3.
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 whether the prosecutor objects to the expungement, the age of the case, the type of offense etc. We will work to get your case resolved as quickly as we can, regardless of any obstacles we may run into throughout the process.
If you want your record removed right away from some of the online background check websites, our 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.
We unfortunately cannot speed up the process within the court, but we will work to get the petition filed as soon as we can. If you are currently seeking employment or are having difficulties keeping your current job because of your record, we will write a letter to let your employer or potential employer know that we are in the process of getting your case expunged.
You can legally deny that your conviction or arrest ever existed. The records will be tightly sealed and not released to the general public. N.J.S. 2C:52-27.
An expungement in NJ can be denied if (1) there was an inaccuracy in the court records and/or in the expungement petition, (2) you have not followed all of the correct procedures, (3) the court does not believe granting an expungement will be in the interest of society (the court is only required to analyze this for certain higher level convictions) or (4) you or the particular offense is otherwise not eligible for expungement.
We will examine the reason for the denial and decide the best way to move forward.
If re-filing the petition immediately is not the best option, 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, determining eligibility for supervisory treatment or diversion, or determining your sentence for that future offense. N.J.S. 2C:52-20 & 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.
The Canadian government and the United States share information, so the Canadian government will have access to whatever information the United States has on file. An expungement will show the Canadian government that the matter has been resolved. After an expungement, the FBI records will be updated; however, there is a chance that other federal agencies will not have been updated, including Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
In New Jersey, your voting rights are automatically restored once you complete your sentence. However, getting an expungement will also restore your voting rights. N.J. Stat. 2C:51-3; N.J. Stat. 19:4-1.
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. To find out if an expungement will affect your immigration case, contact a qualified immigration attorney. Our in-house immigration attorney is available to answer your 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, 2C:39-7, 2A:167-5; 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) that applies to those convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence. 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.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Act (Section 19) allows banks to bar prospective and current employees who have had a “Breach of Trust” or "Dishonesty" conviction from jobs that they are otherwise qualified for. This bar applies even if the conviction has been expunged. If you fall under that law, you can apply for a waiver from the FDIC. It is important to speak with an attorney about your case to see if you qualify for a waiver.
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.
The court will provide you with a written order for expungement. This order 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, and this normally takes 30-60 days.
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.