New Jersey law allows for the removal or “expungement” of certain criminal convictions and offenses. Expungments are defined as “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 complaints, warrants, arrests, commitments, processing records, fingerprints, photographs, index cards, “rap sheets” and judicial docket records.”
New Jersey does not have automatic “expungments”. Even if a criminal charge is dismissed, there is still a record of arrest that will remain on your record unless you petition for expungement. New Jersey diversionary programs (“Pretrial Intervention”, “Conditional Discharge” and “Conditional Dismissal”), which dismiss charges after the expiration of a pre-determined period of time, still leave a recorded history on your criminal record. The record of your arrest, conviction and/or entry into a diversionary program can be removed from your record. Most other criminal and offense convictions are eligible for expungement after a statutory waiting period.
The expungement process is something that can be completed on your own. The New Jersey Courts provides free resources explaining “How to Expunge your Criminal and/or Juvenile Record.” Most of the time, expungement proceedings are relatively straightforward. On the other hand, more complex cases require contested litigation and court appearances. Daniel M. Rosenberg & Associates routinely handles expungements throughout New Jersey. If your expungement matter is complex or you simply do not feel comfortable preparing and filing your petition on your own, Daniel M. Rosenberg & Associates can handle your expungement matter from start to finish.
Depending on the content of what is being expunged, there are certain expungement waiting periods.