New Jersey Expungement Statutes
N.J.S. 2C:52-2. Indictable Offenses.


a. In all cases, except as herein provided, a person may present an expungement application to the Superior Court pursuant to this section if: the person has been convicted of one crime under the laws of this State, and does not otherwise have any subsequent conviction for another crime, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction. Subject to the provision of subsection e. of N.J.S.2C:52-14 requiring denial of an expungement petition when a person has had a previous criminal conviction expunged, a prior conviction for another crime shall not bar presenting an application seeking expungement relief for the criminal conviction that is the subject of the application; or

the person has been convicted of one crime and no more than three disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses under the laws of this State, and does not otherwise have any subsequent conviction for another crime, or any subsequent conviction for another disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense such that the total number of convictions for disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses would exceed three, whether any such crime or offense conviction was within this State or any other jurisdiction. Subject to the provision of subsection e. of N.J.S.2C:52-14 requiring denial of an expungement petition when a person has had a previous criminal conviction expunged, a prior conviction for another crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense shall not bar presenting an application seeking expungement relief for the one criminal conviction and no more than three convictions for disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses that are the subject of the application; or

the person has been convicted of multiple crimes or a combination of one or more crimes and one or more disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses under the laws of this State, all of which are listed in a single judgment of conviction, and does not otherwise have any subsequent conviction for another crime or offense in addition to those convictions included in the expungement application, whether any such conviction was within this State or any other jurisdiction. Subject to the provision of subsection e. of N.J.S.2C:52-14 requiring denial of an expungement petition when a person has had a previous criminal conviction expunged, a prior conviction for another crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense that is not listed in a single judgment of conviction shall not bar presenting an application seeking expungement relief for the convictions listed in a single judgment of conviction that are the subject of the application; or

the person has been convicted of multiple crimes or a combination of one or more crimes and one or more disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses under the laws of this State, which crimes or combination of crimes and offenses 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, regardless of the date of conviction or sentencing for each individual crime or offense, and the person does not otherwise have any subsequent conviction for another crime or offense in addition to those convictions included in the expungement application, whether any such conviction was within this State or any other jurisdiction. Subject to the provision of subsection e. of N.J.S.2C:52-14 requiring denial of an expungement petition when a person has had a previous criminal conviction expunged, a prior conviction for another crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense that was not interdependent or closely related in circumstances and was not committed within a comparatively short period of time as described above shall not bar presenting an application seeking expungement relief for the convictions of crimes or crimes and offenses that were interdependent or closely related and committed within a comparatively short period of time, and that are the subject of the application.

For purposes of determining eligibility to present an expungement application to the Superior Court pursuant to this section, a conviction for unlawful distribution of, or possessing or having under control with intent to distribute, marijuana or hashish in violation of paragraph (11) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:35-5,or a lesser amount of marijuana or hashish in violation of paragraph (12) of subsection b. of that section, or a violation of either of those paragraphs and a violation of subsection a. of section 1 of P.L.1987, c.101 (C.2C:35- 7) or subsection a. of section 1 of P.L.1997, c.327 (C.2C:35-7.1), for distributing, or possessing or having under control with intent to distribute, on or within 1,000 feet of any school property, or on or within 500 feet of the real property comprising a public housing facility, public park, or public building, or for obtaining or possessing marijuana or hashish in violation of paragraph (3) of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:35-10, or for an equivalent crime in another jurisdiction, regardless of when the conviction occurred, shall not be considered a conviction of a crime within this State or any other jurisdiction but shall instead be considered a conviction of a disorderly persons offense within this State or an equivalent category of offense within the other jurisdiction, and a conviction for obtaining, possessing, using, being under the influence of, or failing to make lawful disposition of marijuana or hashish in violation of paragraph (4) of subsection a., or subsection b., or subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:35-10, or a violation involving marijuana or hashish as described herein andusing or possessing with intent to use drug paraphernalia with thatmarijuana or hashish in violation ofN.J.S.2C:36-2, or for an equivalent crime or offense in another jurisdiction, regardless of when the conviction occurred, shall not be considered a conviction within this State or any other jurisdiction.

The person, if eligible, may present the expungement application after the expiration of a period of five years from the date of his most recent conviction, payment of any court-ordered financial assessment, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later. The term “court-ordered financial assessment” as used herein and throughout this section means and includes any fine, fee, penalty, restitution, and other form of financial assessment imposed by the court as part of the sentence for the conviction or convictions that are the subject of the application, for which payment of restitution takes precedence in accordance with chapter 46 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes. The person shall submit the expungement application to the Superior Court in the county in which the most recent conviction for a crime was adjudged, which includes a duly verified petition as provided in N.J.S.2C:52-7 praying that the conviction, or convictions if applicable, and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged. The petition appended to an application shall comply with the requirements set forth in N.J.S.2C:52-1 et seq.

Notwithstanding the provisions concerning the five-year time requirement, if, at the time of application, a court-ordered financial assessment subject to collection under the comprehensive enforcement program established pursuant to P.L.1995, c.9 (C.2B:19-1 et al.) is not yet satisfied due to reasons other than willful noncompliance, but the time requirement of five years is otherwise satisfied, the person may submit the expungement application and the court may grant an expungement; provided, however, that if expungement is granted the court shall enter a civil judgment for the unpaid portion of the court-ordered financial assessmentin the name of the Treasurer, State of New Jersey and transfer collections and disbursement responsibility to the State Treasurer for the outstanding amount in accordance with section 8 of P.L.2017, c.244 (C.2C:52-23.1). The Treasurer may specify, and the Administrative Office of the Courts shall collaborate with, the technical and informational standards required to effectuate the transfer of the collection and disbursement responsibilities. Notwithstanding any provision in this law or any other law to the contrary, the court shall have sole discretion to amend the judgment.

Additionally, an application may be filed and presented, and the court may grant an expungement pursuant to this section, although less than five years have expired in accordance with the time requirements when the court finds:

(1) the court-ordered financial assessment is satisfied but less than five years have expired from the date of satisfaction, and the time requirement of five years is otherwise satisfied, and the court finds that the person substantially complied with any payment plan ordered pursuant to N.J.S.2C:46-1 et seq., or could not do so due to compelling circumstances affecting his ability to satisfy the assessment; or

(2) at least four but less than five years have expired from the date of the most recent conviction, payment of any court-ordered financial assessment, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later; and

the person has not been otherwise convicted of a crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense since the time of the most recent conviction; and the court finds in its discretion that compelling circumstances exist to grant the expungement. The prosecutor may object pursuant to section 11 of P.L.2019, c.269 (C.2C:52-10.1), N.J.S.2C:52-11, N.J.S.2C:52-14, or N.J.S.2C:52-24.

In determining whether compelling circumstances exist for the purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection, a court may consider the amount of any court-ordered financial assessment imposed, the person's age at the time of the offense or offenses, the person's financial condition and other relevant circumstances regarding the person's ability to pay.

b. Records of conviction pursuant to statutes repealed by this Code for the crimes of murder, manslaughter, treason, anarchy, kidnapping, rape, forcible sodomy, arson, perjury, false swearing, robbery, embracery, or a conspiracy or any attempt to commit any of the foregoing, or aiding, assisting or concealing persons accused of the foregoing crimes, shall not be expunged.

Records of conviction for the following crimes specified in the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice shall not be subject to expungement: N.J.S.2C:11-1 et seq. (Criminal Homicide), except death by auto as specified in N.J.S.2C:11-5 and strict liability vehicular homicide as specified in section 1 of P.L.2017, c.165 (C.2C:11-5.3); N.J.S.2C:13-1 (Kidnapping); section 1 of P.L.1993, c.291 (C.2C:13-6) (Luring or Enticing); section 1 of P.L.2005, c.77 (C.2C:13-8) (Human Trafficking); N.J.S.2C:14-2 (Sexual Assault or Aggravated Sexual Assault); subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:14-3 (Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact); if the victim is a minor, subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:14-3 (Criminal Sexual Contact); if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim, N.J.S.2C:13-2 (Criminal Restraint) or N.J.S.2C:13-3 (False Imprisonment); N.J.S.2C:15-1 (Robbery); N.J.S.2C:17-1 (Arson and Related Offenses); subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:24-4 (Endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child, or causing the child other harm); paragraph (4) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4 (Photographing or filming a child in a prohibited sexual act or for portrayal in a sexually suggestive manner); paragraph (3) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4 (Causing or permitting a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act or the simulation of an act, or to be portrayed in a sexually suggestive manner); subparagraph (a) of paragraph (5) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4 (Distributing, possessing with intent to distribute or using a file-sharing program to store items depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child); subparagraph (b) of paragraph (5) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4 (Possessing or viewing items depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child); section 8 of P.L.2017, c.141 (C.2C:24-4.1) (Leader of a child pornography network); N.J.S.2C:28-1 (Perjury); N.J.S.2C:28-2 (False Swearing); paragraph (4) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:34-1 (Knowingly promoting the prostitution of the actor's child); section 2 of P.L.2002, c.26 (C.2C:38-2) (Terrorism); subsection a. of section 3 of P.L.2002, c.26 (C.2C:38-3) (Producing or Possessing Chemical Weapons, Biological Agents or Nuclear or Radiological Devices); and conspiracies or attempts to commit such crimes.

Records of conviction for any crime committed by a person holding any public office, position or employment, elective or appointive, under the government of this State or any agency or political subdivision thereof and any conspiracy or attempt to commit such a crime shall not be subject to expungement if the crime involved or touched such office, position or employment.

c. In the case of conviction for the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance or possession thereof with intent to sell, expungement shall be denied except where the crimes involve:

(1) Marijuana, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was less than one ounce;

(2) Hashish, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was less than five grams; or

(3) Any controlled dangerous substance provided that the conviction is of the third or fourth degree, where the court finds that compelling circumstances exist to grant the expungement. The prosecutor may object pursuant to section 11 of P.L.2019, c.269 (C.2C:52-10.1), N.J.S.2C:52-11, N.J.S.2C:52-14, orN.J.S.2C:52-24.

d. In the case of a State licensed physician or podiatrist convicted of an offense involving drugs or alcohol or pursuant to section 14 or 15 of P.L.1989, c.300 (C.2C:21-20 or 2C:21-4.1), the petitioner shall notify the State Board of Medical Examiners upon filing an application for expungement and provide the board with a copy thereof. The petitioner shall also provide to the court a certification attesting that the requirements of this subsection were satisfied. Failure to satisfy the requirements of this subsection shall be grounds for denial of the expungement application and, if applicable, administrative discipline by the board.

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