Jersey City Expungement Lawyer Santo Artusa is experienced in handling situations where people seek to clear their name or fix their record so that they can obtain employment and/or simply be able to move forward with their lives. Obtaining an expungement in Jersey City is a positive way to move ahead and to focus on your future. A criminal record and/or arrest record can prevent a person from getting even the most basic employment. We will go over some of the steps needed in order to expunge a criminal record/arrest record. These matters require patience, attention to detail and focus.
- Are you eligible? This depends on numerous factors but in short: Was the offense an indictable offense? Was it a disorderly persons offense? Was it a violation of a municipal court ordinance?
In order for an indictable conviction to be eligible for expungement, the individual seeking it must not have been convicted of more than 2 disorderly or petty disorderly offenses. If you have 2 or more indictable convictions, you cannot expunge your criminal record. Now if you are eligible, in general, you must wait 10 years from the date of conviction, payment of court ordered fines, completion of parole/probation, release from jail, whichever is latest. There are certain circumstances where it is possible to petition before the 10 years have passed. Contact us to discuss your specific situation to determine if you are eligible for the Early Pathway Expungement. The shortest amount of time that a Court will consider is 5 years and the nature of the offense and his or her conduct since the conviction will be examined for this accelerated process.
Some Of The Criminal Convictions That Cannot Be Expunged
Criminal homicide (murder, capital murder, manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide), kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, criminal sexual contact (if the victim was a minor), aggravated criminal sexual contact, luring, false imprisonment (if victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim), human trafficking, robbery, arson and related offenses, terrorism, perjury, selling or manufacturing child pornography, convictions for the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance (except in limited circumstances usually involving small amounts of marijuana (25 grams or less) or hashish (5 grams or less)).
CAN I EXPUNGE A DISORDERLY PERSONS CONVICTION?
Yes. If you have no more than 3 disorderly offenses and have not been convicted of an indictable offense in any state. More than 4 makes a person ineligible. A person must wait five years from the date of the conviction, fine payment, completion of parole/probation or release from jail, whichever is later.
WHAT ABOUT A MUNICIPAL ORDINANCE VIOLATION?
The same as for a disorderly persons offense except the waiting period is 2 years instead of 5 years.
CAN I EXPUNGE AN ARREST RECORD?
Yes. If you were arrested for any offense but not convicted, you are eligible. You may seek to expunge the arrest record immediately after having the charges dismissed/found not guilty. An arrest can show up on your criminal record even if you have been found not guilty or the charges were dropped. It is important to address this as soon as the case is over.
OK, I BELIEVE I AM ELIGIBLE, NOW WHAT DO I DO?
First, it is highly recommended to hire an attorney to handle this for you. Making one mistake on the paperwork and the requirements will lead to a denial and frustration. Do not waste your time and energy to only to have a denial, work with an attorney that can get it done as we can.
Now, if you believe you are eligible, you must locate your records. You need to know: The date of your arrest, the statute and offense for which you were arrested or convicted, the original indictment, summons, or docket number, the date of the conviction/date it was dismissed if found not guilty, the court’s disposition. If you do not have all of this information, you or your attorney can obtain it from the Criminal Case Management Team/Office where the case was heard. So in Hudson County, it would be in Jersey City at the Superior Court/595 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ. In Essex County it would be in Newark. If they do not have your entire record, you can obtain a copy from the State Police.
Once the records have been obtained, a petition for expungement must be completed and should indicate why you qualify along with all of the other forms needed. Once the forms are completed, you or your attorney must file the paperwork, pay a filing fee and serve the forms on:
The Attorney General, The County Prosecutor, The Chief of Police, Magistrate or Court Clerk if in Municipal Court, State Police Superintendent, Warden/Administrator of any institution you were incarcerated in, Chief Law Enforcement Officer of any other NJ Law Agency that was involved in the Arrest.
After proof of service has been satisfied, then a court hearing will be conducted where the Judge will decide if your criminal record should be expunged. If the Court find you are eligible and signs the order, you must then serve the order on the same people you sent the petition to so that the records in this state will be updated. The Statute that governs this is N.J.S.A. 2C: 52. Again, working with an experienced attorney that handles criminal law matters and expungements is key to giving you a better chance of obtaining a final expungement order. The attorney may even be able to obtain the order without having to go to court.
HOW LONG WILL THE WHOLE PROCESS TAKE?
As there are many steps involved, the time it takes can vary from 2 months to 6 months. The average amount of time is 90 days or 3 months.
Contact Jersey City Attorney Santo Artusa today on 201-706-7910 to discuss your case and see if he and his team will accept your case. The office is located at 35 Journal Square, Suite 531, Jersey City, NJ 07306. The firm will only accept your case if they believe they can help you achieve your goal and are eligible to obtain an expungement.