Your criminal record will follow you wherever you go. Depending on your criminal history and what you plan to do in life, it could prevent you from traveling, getting employed, getting housing or taking on loans. In short, one mistake could haunt you for the rest of your life.
However, when someone has a criminal record, they may request to have it expunged. Expungement is the act of erasing or removing a criminal record and public record – essentially, allowing those with arrest records, charges or even convictions on their records to regain a sense of freedom.
New Jersey expungement laws work differently than other states. Here’s what you should know:
ELIGIBILITY FOR EXPUNGEMENT
To have a record expunged, you must be eligible for the process. Only some crimes can be erased and, under New Jersey law, individuals who commit more than one indictable criminal offense may not be eligible for expungement.
The following are some crimes that cannot be erased and may jeopardize a criminal record expungement:
- Criminal homicide
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Child endangerment
Typically, any form of disorderly persons offenses are eligible for expungement, however, the law can vary. There are five broad categories for expungement in New Jersey:
- Arrests that did not result in a conviction
- Juvenile delinquency crimes
- Young drug offender records
- Disorderly persons offenses
- Indictable criminal offenses
All five categories have strict timeframes in which the offenders must abide by, so it is important to understand when you are eligible to seek expungement and comply within that timeline.
BENEFITS OF EXPUNGEMENT
As stated above, expungement, ideally, removes a criminal and public record. The truth is that an expunged record is hidden from certain people’s eyes. In cases where it’s necessary, police and FBI may have access to a criminal record, but employers and banks may never know about your criminal history.
The purpose of expungement is to give criminal offenders another chance, even if that means certain records can be seen by a select few. With this in mind, after expungement, you may find that the public eye sees you as trustworthy again. This could, for example, allow you to enter certain occupations, apply for benefits, return to school or apply for loans.
You shouldn’t have to live your entire life in fear because of a mistake or something you did when you were still young. Call the Law Offices Of Michael P. McGuire LLC, now at 732-704-7331 so we can inform you of your options to wipe away your criminal record.