The NJ Expungement Statute allows you to clear your record of arrests, downgrades, dismissals and convictions, so long as you disclose your entire record in the petition for relief; and, so long as you do not have too many convictions. An arrest by itself is not a conviction, what you need to know is how many convictions you have – and how are they graded.
How many times have you been arrested or convicted?
One of the simplest ways to start developing what is on your record, is to have a fingerprint check done through your local NJ police department. The police will send the fingerprints to the New Jersey State Police and they will send you a printout of your record. While you may never have used an alias or given a false date of birth, if a typographical error was made by the person putting your data in the computer, you will need to include that misspelling or incorrect date of birth in your petition. This analysis requires a complete review of all times you have been arrested, and how that charge was disposed of – including those times you were arrested in any other State or Country. If you have ever been arrested or convicted anywhere else, you will need to get that record as well.
How many convictions do you have?
The New Jersey Expungement statute lists each grade of charge, Indictable Crimes; Disorderly Persons Offenses; and, Municipal Ordinances, and sets a number for each type that you are allowed to have and still get your record cleared. If you exceed the number allowed, you may permanently lose the ability to get your record expunged. If you have convictions in another State or jurisdiction, those will need to be analyzed to see how they will be categorized by the NJ Courts to determine whether you have too many convictions to be granted a clear record. NJ uses the categories of CRIMES and OFFENSES. Other jurisdictions use other terms like ‘Felony’ and ‘Misdemeanor’ to show the grade of the offense. These all need to be converted into the equivalent of how NJ will view them to determine whether you have ‘too many convictions’ to get you record cleared.
If you are trying to get your criminal record cleared, discuss your record with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to determine what your options are. Call Howard Bailey at 973-982-1200 for a free consultation before you make any decisions on what to do.