In New Jersey, most offenses or crimes are ultimately able to be expunged or taken off of your criminal record. Depending upon the outcome of your particular case, the nature of the charges, and what exactly took place, there are different waiting periods before you are eligible for an expungement in the State of New Jersey. Regardless of the charge, if your case resulted in a dismissal, you’re immediately eligible for expungement. So, if your case is dismissed on a Monday, the following day you should seek the advice of an expungement attorney about getting that arrest off of your criminal record.
If you plead guilty to what are commonly referred to as municipal ordinance violations, which are the lowest level of quasi-criminal offenses that people plead guilty to here in the State of New Jersey, you are eligible for expungement two years after the completion of the last event, usually the payment of a fine, in your case. If you’ve been convicted of a disorderly person’s offense, commonly known as a misdemeanor, the waiting period is five years from after the last event in your case is completed, again, commonly a fine, or sometimes the completion of a probationary period.
If you’ve been charged and convicted of a felony offense, the waiting period can be up to 10 years. There are certain circumstances in which an expungement can be done after a five year waiting period if the individual person seeking an expungement can prove to the court that they’re someone under extraordinary circumstances and deserve an expungement sooner than the regular 10 year waiting period. The only other set of cases that exist in New Jersey are dismissals after completion of a diversionary program such as PTI or a conditional dismissal. You’re eligible for an expungement six months after the last event of your PTI. If your PTI took a year, you’re eligible in eighteen months or six months after the completion of your PTI. You’re also eligible to expunge any and all juvenile offenses at that time.
An expungement is something that can certainly be looked into and potentially done on your own, but the waiting periods and the stigma of having that conviction or arrest on your record can be lengthened if the expungement is not done properly. This is why I would suggest an immediate consultation with an experienced New Jersey expungement attorney prior to beginning the process so it’s done correctly the first time.
Keith Hirschorn, P.C., is an experienced criminal defense attorney working throughout the state of New Jersey. If you have any questions regarding the merits, facts or circumstances of your case, call the law office, located in Hoboken, to set up a free initial consultation.