Expungement Lawyers in South Jersey
For those convicted of a crime, long after time is served and fines are paid, a criminal record will continue to follow them and show past mistakes. Since landlords and potential or current employers can legally require an applicant to disclose prior convictions, even the most seemingly minor infractions – such as public drunkenness – have the potential to impact everything from housing to job prospects for years to come. Decisions for housing or employment can be made based on an applicant’s criminal history. With such long-lasting implications, it is important to stay on the right side of the law; however, expungement can offer a way to leave the past in the past for some people.
New Jersey municipal court lawyers at Cordy Hartman, LLC are well-versed in all timelines and procedures for expunging a criminal record. We work tirelessly to ensure our clients can step confidently into the future, with no fear of a criminal past returning to haunt them. Due to legal complexities, expungement can be a complicated process, making it important to find a law firm with knowledge and experience.
Conviction, Acquittal Make a Difference When Seeking Expungement
In New Jersey, expungement is governed by Chapter 52 of the New Jersey Criminal code. The statute allows for the sealing and, in some cases, removal of various criminal records including arrest reports, trial information and documentation of time spent in jail or prison. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to grant a petition for expungement rests with a judge. Long before a case makes its way to the courtroom, it is important to get proper legal representation to ensure the groundwork is properly laid before ever seeing a judge.
For those charged with a crime but never convicted, expungement is often available. If an individual is tried and acquitted, or if their case was otherwise dismissed prior to trial, they may immediately petition a court for expungement. Moreover, individuals charged with a crime but admitted into a pretrial intervention program – such as that offered to low-level, first-time drug offenders – can seek expungement six months after satisfying a program’s requirements.
The path to a clean criminal background check is complicated considerably by a criminal conviction. For those who are convicted of certain indictable offenses, such as assault, expungement can be requested after a five-year wait, but it can often take a decade or more for a petition to be granted. Individuals charged and convicted of a drug offense prior to the age of 21 can seek expungement following a one-year waiting period, as long as the offender has no previous criminal record. Assault, resisting arrest and certain other “disorderly persons” offenses carry a five-year wait for expungement, while municipal ordinance violations such as disturbing the peace can successfully be expunged after two years.
Moorestown Expungement Lawyers: Relief Not Always Available
New Jersey municipal court lawyers note, however, that expungement is barred outright in certain circumstances. Individuals acquitted of a crime on grounds of insanity or lack of mental capacity must disclose the charges if asked. In addition, motor vehicle offenses such as convictions for driving under the influence are barred from expungement in New Jersey, as they are categorized as motor vehicles offenses, rather than criminal offenses. Moreover, certain indictable offenses – such as arson, kidnapping and sex crimes – will remain part of a criminal record forever. Lastly, the right to seek expungement is often forfeited when an individual is determined to be a repeat offender. If you are unsure of whether your criminal record can be expunged, consult with a New Jersey expungement lawyer at once.
Moorestown Municipal Court Lawyers at Cordy Hartman, LLC
Millions of law-abiding, responsible adults have at one time been charged or convicted of a crime. While some mistakes can never be undone, others can be remedied with expungement. If a previous conviction or criminal charge is preventing you from leading the life you are ready to live, contact the New Jersey expungement lawyers at Cordy Hartman, LLC. Together, we will go over your options for securing a clean criminal background.
At our offices in Moorestown, New Jersey, Cordy Hartman, LLC proudly serves clients throughout the communities of Cherry Hill, Burlington County, Atlantic County, Camden County, Salem County, Cape May County, Gloucester County, and Cumberland County. Contact us online or call 856-452-4474 to schedule your free consultation today.