Early Expungement Law Changes in New Jersey

New Jersey has made some very significant and favorable changes to its expungement law. The prior law gave very few people access to the expungement process.  It limited the amount of prior convictions you could expunge and also had a very long waiting period. The new law as outlined below greatly expands your ability to have a clean record.

Early Expungement:

Under the prior law a person had to wait ten (10) years for a felony conviction to be expunged, five (5) years for a misdemeanor and two (2) years for an ordinance violation. Under the new “early expungement” statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(a)(2) for felony convictions and N.J.S.A. 2C:52-3(b)(2) for misdemeanor convictions, an individual can ask the Court to expunge their convictions earlier. A felony conviction can now request an early expungement after five (5) years and a misdemeanor can apply after three (3) years.

Under the old law, the Judge had to grant the expungement if you qualified after ten (10) years or five (5) years respectively. Under the new law the Judge has discretion to decide whether or not to grant an expedited expungement. Not only must you meet the minimum time requirements, you also must show certain things to qualify as outlined below.

Early Expungement Requirements:

The application process is similar to the standard expungement process, however, you are applying earlier than usual. In support of your case, you must show very specific things to prove to the Judge that it is in the “public interest” to grant the expungement.

In order to grant the early expungement, the Judge has to be convinced that this would be in the public interest. The factures that the Judge is to consider include whether or not you have engaged in activities that limit the risk of reoffending, such as job training, rehabilitation, etc.; whether you have complied with all the other legal requirements of your life such as child support, motor vehicle fines, etc.; whether you are involved with your family and community in such a way that promotes law-abiding behavior; you have to show that you are not involved with your prior criminal environment; it is helpful for you to show that you successfully completed probation; that you have had a number of years where you have been offense free; you must convince the Judge that the circumstances surrounding the offense are all unlikely to recur and that you had a good excuse for what you did in the past; and you are given the opportunity to show any other evidence to provide to the Judge that you have led a productive, law-abiding life, such as volunteering, etc.

All of this is proven by character letters, and any other documentation to prove to the Judge that you are entitled to this relief.

Attorney Involvement:

As a former Assistant Prosecutor and Defense Attorney since 1982, I have handled hundreds of expungements over the years. I know what the Courts look for to grant all expungements including public interest expungements.

This is your chance for a fresh start. Call Expungement Attorney Edward V. Murachanian at 732-477-3030.