Expungement law in New Jersey is changing! Laws enacted in December 2017 enable expungement of a various arrests and convictions that previously could not be expunged. These laws take effect on October 1, 2018. Here are some highlights of the new law:
- The waiting period before a criminal conviction can be expunged is lowered from ten years to six years. In some cases, that six-year wait can be lowered to five years, just as before. (The waiting period before disorderly persons convictions can be expunged remains unchanged);
- Previously, the number of disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons convictions that could be expunged was three. That number, assuming no independent criminal convictions, is increased to four. Convictions for multiple interdependent or closely-related-in-circumstances disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses occurring within a short period of time can be treated as a single conviction;
- Previously, criminal convictions could be expunged if there were not more than two additional disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons convictions. The new law raises that limit of additional disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons convictions (or any combination thereof) from two to three;
- Previously, no conviction could be expunged if the applicant has had one or more criminal charges dismissed as a result of successful completion of a diversion. The new law eliminates that bar;
- When juvenile adjudications can be expunged, the waiting time is lowered from five years to three years.
- All criminal convictions for which expungements are sought are listed in a single judgment of conviction;
- All of the convictions related to crimes that were “interdependent” or closely related in circumstances and were committed as part of a sequence of events that took place within a comparatively short period of time.
The official designation of the new law is P.L.2017, chapter 244. Chapter 244 changes eight separate statutes. The overview on this page outlines highlights. Much wording in those new statutes is convoluted. Outright internal contradictions exist. Eventually, judges will be called upon to interpret that convolution. Expungement Lawyers in New Jersey™ remain available to help straighten out this mess as painlessly as possible.
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