For the plain vanilla expungement, the fee that Expungement Lawyers in New Jersey™charge is $1,685.00. Here is what “plain vanilla” means:
- You have been charged with an offense on not more than two occasions, and the number of charges on each occasion is two or less;
- There will be no objections from the prosecutor or other government agencies;
- The full waiting period has been satisfied;
- You were never convicted of distributing or possessing with intent to distribute a so-called controlled dangerous substance;
- Investigation needs are not inordinate; and
- The expungement Petition is one that can be filed in a county other than Camden, Essex, or Mercer.
- You were charged with exactly one offense on exactly one occasion;
- The charge was dismissed;
- You provide Expungement Lawyers in New Jersey™ with a disposition letter from the court that reflects the dismissal, OR you obtain and provide them with a criminal history obtained from the FBI. (Our Your Arrest History page guides you through obtaining this history); and
- All other requirements for the $1,685.00 fee are satisfied.
Subject to those premises, these $1,285.00 and $1,685.00 figures are all-inclusive. They include all routine out-of-pocket expenses. And they include their guarantee. Most expungements are one of those two amounts. Now let's look at the exceptions:
The county prosecutors, or the court system, or both, in some counties erect barriers to expungement processing. These barriers can be overcome. Doing so, however, requires inordinate time and frustration. If your expungement is one that must be filed in Camden, Essex or Mercer Counties, their minimum fee is $2,685.00. If it is an “early pathway” or other “public interest” expungement, their base fee is $3,985.00. As with expungements not involving early pathway or fast track, multiple arrests or numerous charges can cause that amount to increase. This $3,985.00 (or sometimes more) amount, or some in-between figure, may also apply to the situation where one or more persons or agencies object to the granting of the expungement. It depends on the nature of the objection. Expungement Lawyers in New Jersey™ discuss payment arrangements for these higher-cost expungements on another page on this site.
Unlike the no-special-issues situation, the $3,985.00 charge on these more complex expungements is not all-inclusive. Payment for special out-of-pocket items such as court transcripts and, possibly, investigation expenses, will typically add to the cost. Note also that these costs are for expungement of criminal records. Costs for expungement of mental health records are discussed on a different page. And these cost figures apply only to work on the initial application. In the rare case where an appeal is needed, additional costs apply.
Even where it is not necessary to satisfy a judge that granting a particular expungement application is in the public interest, unusual circumstances can raise the fee above the base amount. One example of such circumstances would be presence of numerous arrests or charges, whether in New Jersey or elsewhere. Expungement Lawyers in New Jersey™ must determine and analyze each arrest, regardless of whether it can be expunged. After this determination and analysis, they must then incorporate the details into expungement documents that they draft. “Numerous,” means any number of arrests greater than two, or any number of charges greater than two, per arrest.
“Arrest,” as used here, is a “term of art.” It is not limited to an actual taking into custody. “Arrest,” rather, means the filing of one or more charges arising from a single episode. The fee when there is a third arrest will be $1,885.00. In most cases, each arrest beyond the third arrest will add $400.00 to the fee. Thus the fee for four arrests will be $2,285.00; for five arrests, $2,685.00, and so on. The “bottom lines” in this and the next two paragraphs assume that applicable rules will allow us to file the Petition in a county other than Camden, Essex, or Mercer. Where the application must be filed in one of those three counties, the additional fees for arrests beyond two, or charges per arrest beyond two, will be applied to the base amounts for those counties. Thus, for example, for three arrests in Camden County, the minimum fee would be $4,185.00. This consists of the $3,985.00 base amount for Camden County, plus the $200.00 for that third arrest.
The number of charges, independent of the number of arrests, is also a consideration. A single arrest will sometimes include numerous charges. The expungement application that we will prepare requires that we review and process every single charge, even when all charges were associated with just a single arrest. In that situation, our fee structure treats up to two charges per arrest the same as just one arrest. Where the number of charges in any arrest exceeds two, however, each charge beyond the second incurs an additional fee of $200.00. To give a simple example, if there was just one arrest but, in that arrest, there were five separate charges, the fee relating to just that one arrest would be $2,285.00. This reflects the standard $1,685.00 for the first two charges, and then $200.00 more for each of the three additional charges.
With multiple arrests and charges, we cap our total fee at $3,985.00. There are three situations, however, where that cap may not apply. The cap may not apply for “early pathway” and “public interest” expungements (discussed in Questions 17 and 21 on our FAQ page); it may not apply when there were additional charges not reflected in the history that you reported to us; and the cap may not apply for expungements that must be filed in Camden County, Essex County, or Mercer County.
Another situation involving increased fees is where the prosecutor opposes the expungement application, even when that opposition has no legal basis. Often we know ahead of time whether such opposition is likely. When we have such indications, we alert you to that possibility. Occasionally, however, unexpected opposition arrives.
Still another situation that increases fees beyond those indicated above would be where excessive efforts are required to obtain information needed for us to draft the court papers. This can happen, for example, for ancient arrests where records may be difficult to track down, or where their interpretation may, because of differences over time in how events are described, be difficult. We refer to our information-gathering efforts as “investigation.” Ordinarily, our fee for limited investigation is “included” in the numbers indicated above. It is investigation needs that go beyond the limited amount typically required that can incur these increased fees.
Expungement Lawyers in New Jersey™ provide discounts for some United States Armed Forces and New Jersey National Guard veterans. Expungement Lawyers in New Jersey™ offers a 12% discount to persons providing a copy of their DD Form 214 or NGB Form 22 showing an honorable discharge from the United States Armed Forces, or the New Jersey National Guard. The discount rises to 18% if those papers show an honorable discharge and receipt of a purple heart.
From time to time a person whose records have been expunged later has need for those expunged records. Expungement Lawyers in New Jersey can seek those expunged records on their behalf. Their fee to seek expunged records is $1,685.00 plus out-of-pocket expenses. Successful retrieval is not guaranteed.
Expungement Lawyers in New Jersey™ conclude with what they first mentioned above. For most expungements, their fee is $1,685.00. When circumstances out of the heartland require a deviation, they attempt to set a fee that is fair to you but that, at the same time, reflects the time and attention needed for your situation.
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