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Expungements

Filing an Order of Expungement in New Jersey Clean Record

Crime convictions can have repercussions and resonations that go far beyond jail time, fines and probation - from getting a professional license to getting into Canada to getting a job. Tara Breslow-Testa is a Monmouth County expungement lawyer serving all of New Jersey, who has the experience to clear your criminal record - to have it “expunged” in legal terminology.

Order Of Expungement

According to New Jersey statutes, expungement means “the extraction and isolation of all records on file within any court, detention or correctional facility, law enforcement or criminal justice agency concerning a person's detection, apprehension, arrest, detention, trial or disposition of an offense within the criminal justice system.”

Expunged records include judicial docket records, “rap sheets,” index cards, photographs, fingerprints, processing records, commitments, arrests, warrants and complaints.

The rules for expungement are complicated and it is possible for a citizen to act as their own counsel and file for the order of expungement - but it is also possible for that citizen to do it all wrong, mess it up, waste the court’s time, make the judge angry and cause a huge mess which leads to the order of expungement being denied.

Monmouth expungement lawyer Tara Breslow-Testa will clear your record. She knows backward and forward the New Jersey statutes for expungement from N.J.S.A. 2C:52-1 through N.J.S.A. 2C:52-32. Tara understands all the shades, facets, realities and legalities of filing for an order of expungement, and she is prepared to help you clear your name, clear your record, clear your mind, clear your future. Contact Tara at 732 784 2880.

Your Past Is Still Present

Let’s say, sometime in your youth or your past - a decade or more ago - you were a rascal, a little outlaw, a bit wild and got into things that were against the law: Drove drunk and got caught, started a fight with a New York Giants hooligan and did some damage, robbed a 7/11 for a large Slurpee and some Mallow Bars and got pinched, fudged your taxes a bit but not good enough.

You committed a crime, were arrested, charged, tried, convicted, did your time, paid your fine, finished your probation. But that crime is still on your record, and that record is interfering with your life: Maybe you can’t go see the Yankees play the Blue Jays because Canadian authorities stop you at their border for something you did 10 years in the past. Some countries won’t let you in because of certain criminal convictions. Some employers can’t get past it. You can’t get a gun permit or certain professional licenses. Having a criminal record has repercussions and resonations that continue will past convicting and sentencing.

The Straight and Narrow

But you’re not that person anymore. You’re on the straight and narrow - you’re righteous - and would like to clear your good name from the criminal records of the state of New Jersey.

New Jersey is a forgiving state, and there is an avenue for that. It’s called “expungement” but it is a complicated avenue, a complex equation of how much time has passed since a person was convicted, what they were convicted of, their behavior since the conviction and their legal and financial status when applying for the expungement.

“Expunged” does not mean “destroyed” but it does mean criminal records are “extracted and isolated” and hidden from public view by a variety of agencies, including the Attorney General of New Jersey, the New Jersey State Police, county prosecutor, sheriff's department or probation department. Tara Breslow-Testa is an expungement attorney serving Monmouth County and surrounding areas and she is ready to help.

Facts About Expungement

Different convictions have different wait times attached, for when you are eligible to apply for expungement of your records and what you are required to show to the court. And that time begins only after the completion of your sentence or payment of fines, not from the date of your conviction.

Completion Of A Diversion Programs- Pti And Conditional Discharge: Six Months

Diversion programs are available for certain crimes, as a way to allow first-time offenders to avoid criminal convictions. The New Jersey diversion programs available at the adult level are the Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTI) which is available to those charged with third or fourth-degree crimes/felonies. The Conditional Discharge Program is available for misdemeanor or disorderly persons drug offenses. The Conditional Dismissal Program was begun in January 2014 and is designed for Disorderly Persons and Petty Disorderly Persons charges - not related to drug crimes. If your case was dismissed after completing a diversion program = six months.

Municipal Ordinance: Two Years

Municipal ordinances” are rules, regulations, or codes set forth in a city's code of ordinances: Noisy parties, open container, drunk in public. Pleading guilty to a municipal ordinance in municipal court infraction results in a fine but no jail time. If you are convicted of breaking a municipal ordinance, the waiting period for expungement is two years. However, you are disqualified from expungement if you have been convicted of a felony or more than two disorderly persons offenses.

Disorderly Persons: Three To Five Years

Petty Disorderly Persons (misdemeanor) or a Disorderly Persons (misdemeanor) Offenses include simple assault, possession of drug paraphernalia or less than 50 grams of marijuana, shoplifting, resisting arrest and other crimes. If you are convicted of any of these crimes, you can apply for expungement after five years, although there is an avenue to a three-year “early pathway” expungement.

Felonies: Five To 10 Years

Felony crimes are the most serious category of crime in the state of New Jersey, including theft, forgery, Aggravated Assault. Some of these crimes can never be expunged: homicide, kidnapping, human trafficking, arson, sexual assault, terrorism, robbery, and false imprisonment. The rules for expungement of a felony crime changed in 2010 and again after April 18, 2016. In general, if you were convicted of a felony crime, you can apply for expungement for some felonies 10 years after the end of your sentence is the norm, although there is an avenue to a five-year “early pathway” expungement. Ms. Breslow has been very successful at getting early pathway expungements Orders accomplished. She will fight tirelessly to get your record clean if you are eligible.

Possession Of Controlled Dangerous Substances: It&Rsquo;S Complicated

If you were convicted of first or second degree possession of a CDS with intent to sell, your arrest and conviction can never be expunged. For third and fourth degree convictions of Possession of CDS or Controlled Dangerous Substance there is an avenue to expungement, but you have to make a solid case that it’s in the “public interest” and you have to appear in court. Mr. Breslow is proud to say that she has helped many individuals start fresh with a clean record under this statute in Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

Case Dismissed: Immediate

If your case was dismissed = no waiting period. But be sure to apply because expungement is not automatic because of dismissal. Just because criminal charges are dismissed does not mean they are automatically stricken from your record. Don’t assume that. For charges dismissed after April 18, 2016, you can immediately “make application” to automatically have all records expunged. But you have to make that application - dismissal doesn’t mean expungement - and this only applies to charges dismissed after April 18, 2016.

DUI or DWI Cannot Be Expunged

Convictions for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) are traffic offenses, not criminal offenses. It is not possible to have traffic offenses expunged and they will always be on your DMV driver’s abstract

Young Drug Offender: One Year

If you classify as a young drug offender (<21 years old) = one year.

Certificate Of Rehabilitation

Crimes that can’t be expunged can result in a person being denied a job or a professional license - doctor, lawyer, psychiatrist. The Certificate of Rehabilitation is an avenue to being eligible for a professional license despite a criminal record that can’t be expunged. Again, this is complicated and it is best to have an attorney by your side.

Drug Court: Immediate

New Jersey Drug Courts were established in 1996, and their mission is to focus court staff, attorneys, probation officers and treatment professionals toward the recovery of convicted drug offenders. Drug Courts proved effective in Camden and Essex counties and have become a foundation of New Jersey drug rehabilitation. Citizens who complete Drug Court in New Jersey are immediately eligible to have their criminal records expunged, regardless of how long it has been since you were convicted, or how many convictions you have.

If An Expungement Is Granted, How Long Does It Take To Be Cleared?

After an application for expungement is filed, the court has one to two months to respond. If the expungement is approved and signed, the approved application for expungement is relayed to the Attorney General, State Police, probation department or other state agency, and their action can happen right away, or take several weeks. An expungement attorney helping residents of Monmouth County and other areas of New Jersey, Tara Breslow-Testa will stay with you to be sure your records are expunged, and with a handshake or a hug or both, watch you walk away feeling lighter and with peace of mind.

Just Say No

Once your records are expunged, you can legally answer “No” to application or interview questions about your past criminal record. And that can be a very important “No.”

And you can also go see the Yankees whip the Blue Jays - in Toronto.