“It's a New Beginning.”
NJ Expungements of Criminal Records — An Overview
Are you applying to nursing school? Would you like to be a teacher? Are you seeking a New Jersey firearms identification card? Perhaps you want to adopt a child, or coach a Little League® baseball team, or be a school crossing guard. Maybe you're just looking for a job at Home Depot. Were you ever charged with shoplifting? Or busted for smoking a joint? Are any felony convictions, or even arrests, on your record?
Expungement (or expunction) in New Jersey is the isolation of a criminal record. The actual record is not literally “erased.” It does, however, become generally not available from government sources. In that sense, it is erased from the sight of people doing public records searches through the courts, through the police, and even through the FBI.
The New Jersey Criminal Code specifies the objectives of the statutes relating to expungements, including expungement of a felony conviction. The primary objective is to provide relief to the one-time offender who has led a life of rectitude and disassociated himself from unlawful activity.
Not everyone qualifies for expungement of criminal records. Whether or not a person qualifies to expunge their record depends upon many factors. These factors are defined in statutes, presented in other pages on this site.
Why Have Your NJ Record Expunged?
Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.
Othello Act 3, scene 3, 155–161
A clean criminal record is an asset. A very important asset. It often determines whether an applicant gets a particular job. Getting a criminal record expunged sometimes determines whether a person who already has a particular job can keep that job, or advance to a better job. It can also affect decisions of professional licensing boards. In our increasingly uptight society, criminal record checks are required of nurses, volunteer sports coaches, day care center workers, persons seeking to be foster parents, or adopt children, applicants for a firearms permit, and persons applying for school positions, to name but a few. Expungements enable an applicant to avoid unpleasant consequences of past situations.
What Are the Benefits of Expungements in NJ?
Expungements provide three huge benefits.
The first benefit is that expungements result in the "isolation" of records of convictions. They also isolate records even of the arrest, regardless of whether the arrest resulted in a conviction. Thus searches done of official government databases, such as the courts or the FBI, will come back as “No Record Information.”
The second benefit is that once the judge signs the expungement order, the person whose criminal record has been expunged is legally entitled to state that the arrest or conviction never happened. Thus the person may confidently answer questions that previously would have caused embarassment.
The third benefit is psychological. The weight of the past is lifted from the shoulders of the person whose record was previously saddled with this blemish. As former client M.D. put it, "It's a new beginning."
This is the web site of New Jersey expungement lawyer Allan Marain. This site provides information on expunging New Jersey records of arrests and convictions. It discusses, in much more detail, concepts touched upon on this page. This site will hopefully assist you to learn the benefits of expungement of New Jersey criminal arrests, New Jersey criminal convictions, as well as limitations on when records can be expunged, and what expungement of New Jersey records of arrests and convictions can do for you. It will answer questions like these, and many more:
If you would like to expunge your NJ criminal record, Allan Marain can help.