How to Expunge a Felony in NJ?
Expungement Attorney in Morris County NJ
If you or a loved one has plead guilty too or convicted of a felony in New Jersey, it is imperative that you seek the assistance of an experienced expungement lawyer immediately. A felony criminal record, whether it be for possessing heroin, burglary, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, eluding, cocaine distribution or theft by deception can be devastating to your future. It can prevent you from being accepted into your dream college, gaining meaningful employment, obtaining a professional license or owning a firearm. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2, a Defendant must wait at least ten years before they can have their felony criminal record expunged expunged unless they fall under the five (5) year exception. In addition, as you will see below, their are certain requirements that must also be satisfied before a Defendant can seek to have their record expunged.
If you have been convicted of a felony in Morris County, in towns like Madison, Dover, Mount Olive, Montville, Washington, Jefferson, Denville or Mendham, we can help. Our office has eight criminal defense lawyers on staff, making our office one of the largest criminal defense firms in the State let alone Morris County. If you would like to contact our Morristown office and set up an appointment to discuss your options, we can be reached at 973.309.7050. Our attorneys are available 24/7 to help assist in any way possible. Now here is some key information on N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2.
NJ Felony Expungement Attorneys
As mentioned above, the governing statute in New Jersey for expunging a felony criminal record is N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2, which states in pertinent part:
a. In all cases, except as herein provided, wherein a person has been convicted of a crime under the laws of this State and who has not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction, and has not been adjudged a disorderly person or petty disorderly person on more than two occasions may, after the expiration of a period of 10 years from the date of his conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later, present a duly verified petition as provided in N.J.S.2C:52-7 to the Superior Court in the county in which the conviction was entered praying that such conviction and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged.
Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding paragraph, a petition may be filed and presented, and the court may grant an expungement pursuant to this section, although less than 10 years has expired in accordance with the requirements of the preceding paragraph where the court finds:
(1) Less than 10 years has expired from the satisfaction of a fine, but the 10-year time requirement 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 fine; or
(2) At least five years has expired from the date of his conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later; the person has not been convicted of a crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense since the time of the conviction; and the court finds in its discretion that expungement is in the public interest, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense, and the applicant’s character and conduct since conviction.
In determining whether compelling circumstances exist for the purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection, a court may consider the amount of the fine or fines imposed, the person’s age at the time of the offense, the person’s financial condition and other relevant circumstances regarding the person’s ability to pay.
Although subsequent convictions for no more than two disorderly or petty disorderly offenses shall not be an absolute bar to relief, the nature of those conviction or convictions and the circumstances surrounding them shall be considered by the court and may be a basis for denial of relief if they or either of them constitute a continuation of the type of unlawful activity embodied in the criminal conviction for which expungement is sought.
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 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 25 grams or less;
(2)Hashish, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was five grams or less; or
(3)Any controlled dangerous substance provided that the conviction is of the third or fourth degree, where the court finds that expungement is consistent with the public interest, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense and the petitioner’s character and conduct since conviction.
As you just read, not all felony criminal convictions are expungeable. The legislature has declared that the following offenses are non-expungeable regardless of the circumstances surrounding the conviction. They are as follows:
- Criminal Homicide, except death by auto as specified in N.J.S.2C:11-5;
- Kidnapping- 2C:13-1;
- Luring or Enticing- 2C:13-6;
- Human Trafficking- 2C:13-8;
- Sexual Assault or Aggravated Sexual Assault- 2C:14-2;
- Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact– 2C:14-3a; if the victim is a minor,
- Criminal Sexual Contact– 2C:14-3b if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim,
- Criminal Restraint– 2C:13-2;
- False Imprisonment- 2C:13-3;
- Robbery– 2C:15-1;
- Arson and Related Offenses-2C:17-1;
- Endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child-2C:17-1;
- Endangering the welfare of a child– 2C:24-4b(4);
- Causing or permitting a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act- 2C:24-4b. (3);
- Distributing, possessing with intent to distribute or using a file-sharing program to store items depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child-2C:24-4b.(5)(a);
- Possessing items depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child-2C:24-4b.(5)(b);
- False Swearing- 2C:28-2;
- Knowingly promoting the prostitution of the actor’s child-2C:34-1b.(4);
- Producing or Possessing Chemical Weapons, Biological Agents or Nuclear or Radiological Devices-2C:38-3.
This list includes conspiracies or attempts to commit such crimes as well.
Morris County NJ Felony Expungement Attorney
The Law Office has been help clients expunge their felony criminal record in New Jersey for over a decade. If you or a loved one has a felony criminal record for criminal mischief, stalking, heroin possession, marijuana distribution, assault by auto, possessing heroin with the intent to distribute or receiving stolen property, we can help. If you would like to discuss your options with one of our eight attorneys, we can be reached at 973.309.7050. Our office has extensive experience representing clients throughout Morris County, in towns like Kinnelon, Pequannock, Roxbury, Chester, Harding, Madison and Parsippany.