If you were ever arrested and charged with a crime or an offense in New Jersey, you have a criminal record that can show up if your employer does a background check on you. Even if the charges were dismissed, you have a record, as the record is created at the time of the arrest. If the charges were dismissed without you having to complete any type of diversionary program (such as a conditional discharge or pre-trial intervention program) then you are immediately eligible to start the process of getting your record cleared. If your case was diverted and not immediately dismissed, you must complete the diversionary program, get discharged successfully, and then wait six months before you are eligible to file the petition.
The petition process requires that a specialized form of request be filed with the NJ Superior Court, in the County where the arrest occurred. The process takes months, and requires that all parties be notified that you are asking that the arrest be cleared from your record. This means that the police department that made the arrest, the county prosecutor, the NJ State Police, the Attorney General of the NJ, and several other parties all get served with a copy of the request. Each party also gets to agree or object to your requested relief.
As long as this was your only arrest and the charge was dismissed, the process takes about four months and does not require that you go to court. If there are problems, such as other arrests, a diversionary program was involved, or you are mistaken about the charge being dismissed, the process takes longer and you and your attorney may need to go to court to try to convince the Court that you are entitled to the relief.
If you have ever been arrested, contact Howard Bailey at 973-982-1200 for a free consultation to discuss what needs to be done to clear your record.