Expungement in New Jersey
The extraction and isolation of all filed records within any court, law enforcement agencies, detention facilities, correctional facilities, and criminal justice agencies that concern an individual’s apprehension, detection, arrest, trial, detention, or disposition of an offense in the criminal justice system is referred to as record expungement in the state of New Jersey.
When contacted about an individual’s records, an agency or facility is required by New Jersey Law 2C:52-15 to admit that no record exists if the record has been expunged. In limited circumstances, the Superior Court may order the inspection of expunged records. Expunged records cannot be used in impeachment proceedings, but they can be used in sentencing for a subsequent conviction. They can also be used to grant or deny an application for a supervisory diversion or treatment program for additional charges, or to grant parole.
In New Jersey, only certain records are eligible for expungement. All records, warrants, complaints, arrests, processing records, commitments, photographs, fingerprints, index cards, and judicial docket records fall into this category. DNA that is stored in a state database and is related to the individual’s offense outcome as dismissed or reversed can be requested to be returned. If this request is granted, the division is required by New Jersey law to comply with the order and return the records and other identifiable information from the state databank.
Eligibility for Expungement in New Jersey
Past convictions or arrests of law-abiding citizens may be removed from police folders and public records. However, under New Jersey law 2C:52-1 et seq., only certain criminal convictions can be expunged. For example, if a misdemeanor conviction occurred more than five years ago and no subsequent crimes occurred, an individual’s attorney may petition the Superior Court for expungement. Those who have pleaded guilty to violating town ordinances must wait at least two years before filing a petition for expungement. After a certain amount of time has passed, juvenile delinquent records can also be expunged.
Minor drug arrests that result in first-time offender conditional discharge can be expunged one year after probation is terminated or court procedures are completed. In New Jersey, charges can be automatically dismissed without a waiting period. These include frivolous complaints and arrests that did not result in a conviction or were dismissed.
Certain indictable offenses, such as crimes of public office, drug crimes—with the exception of small amounts of hashish or marijuana possession—disorderliness after the second offense, kidnapping, luring, enticing, criminal homicide—with the exception of death by vehicle—aggravated sexual assault, criminal sexual contact when the offender is not the victim’s parent, aggravated criminal sexual contact when the victim is a minor, criminal restitution, and criminal