BEST South Jersey Expungement Lawyers
You no longer have to suffer from a past mistake. The Law Offices of Afonso & Archie P.C. can use recent expungement laws to remove the record of your conviction. Let the law help you for once and restore your possibility for prosperity.
Expungement is the opportunity to give those who have committed certain crimes in New Jersey a second chance, so their mistakes do not haunt them for the rest of their lives. Although everyone should pay for the crimes they commit, they should not have to pay for those crimes for the remainder of their lives.
The expungement process, although complicated, is a positive way to ensure certain individuals are not hindered by something that they may have done when they were younger and perhaps not as wise.
The entire process must be followed to the letter of the law, or one may risk wasting time and money. Expunging a criminal record is not a task that should be given to just any lawyer. It is crucial that that someone chooses an expungement lawyer who knows the process thoroughly.
WHAT IS EXPUNGEMENT?
Expungement is the legal process of destroying or sealing (from public view) a state or Federal arrest or conviction. Once complete the individual has no obligation to acknowledge the expunged arrest or conviction.
Is DISMISSAL THE SAME AS AN EXPUNGEMENT?
No. In dismissed cases, the charges are dropped, but there still is a public record of the case. In expunged cases, the entire case is removed from the public record. It cannot be found in any public database maintained by the Judiciary and it cannot be disclosed by court staff.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR EXPUNGEMENT?
Anyone arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime in New Jersey, as an adult or as a juvenile, can seek to have that record expunged.
WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE OF EXPUNGEMENT?
As expungement removes a record from public view which can removes hurdles to employment, housing, education, and other personal and professional opportunities.
WHICH CRIMES CAN BE EXPUNGED?
Some offenses, such a violent crimes, are not eligible for expungement. An individual can receive three expungements of which one can be an Indictable offenses (crime, felony).
Crimes eligible for expungement include:
- Indictable offenses (crime, felony) See details below.
- Disorderly conduct
- Municipal ordinance violations
- Minor drug offenses
WHICH CRIMES CAN NOT BE EXPUNGED?
Conviction of, or aiding, assisting, or concealing people accused of the crimes listed below, can not be expunged in New Jersey
- Aggravated criminal sexual conduct
- Forcible sodomy
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Luring or enticing
- Endangering the welfare of a child
- Kidnapping or False imprisonment (detain, restrain, or confine someone without their consent and not allow them to leave when they want)
- Anarchy or Treason
- Murder, Manslaughter or Vehicular Manslaughter
- Perjury, False Swearing (a false statement but not under oath) or Embracery (attempt to influence a jury)
- DUI (not a crime but instead a motor vehicle offense)
IS EXPUNGEMENT AVAILABLE FOR MARIJUANA OR HASHISH-RELATED CRIMES?
Yes and no.
A significant number of marijuana or hashish-related crimes were automatically expunged when the Marijuana Decriminalization Law took effect on July 1, 2021 including:
- N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5(b)(12) – Distribution of marijuana less than 1 ounce or hashish less than 5 grams
- N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(3) – Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, or more than 5 grams of hashish
- N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(4) – Possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana, or 5 grams or less of hashish
In addition the following three crimes, when tied to one of the crimes above, was automatically expunged:
- N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2 – Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(b)- Use or Being Under Influence of Controlled, Dangerous Substance
- N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(c)- Failure to Make Lawful Disposition of Controlled, Dangerous Substance
Lastly, attempts and conspiracies to commit these offenses also were expunged according to the July 1, 2021 Supreme Court Order.
Due to controversial changes to New Jersey’s laws related to the possession and distribution of marijuana, there have been modifications made to the expungement of those crimes. For instance, the waiting period to expunge the more serious marijuana convictions has been reduced from six years to three years after the date of conviction or the conclusion of probation, whichever is later. Those offenses include the following:
- Distribution or possession with intent to distribute between one ounce and five pounds of marijuana and up to one ounce of hashish
- Violations for the same offenses, even if they occurred in school zones or within 500 feet of public housing facilities
- Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana or more than five grams of hash in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(3)
Those who previously were convicted or arrested over marijuana possession should reach out to THE LAW OFFICES OF AFONSO & ARCHIE P.C., (856) 786-7000, to discuss their legal options. There may be an opportunity to clear that incident off the permanent record.
DO I NEED TO HIRE AN EXPUNGEMENT LAWYER?
Expungement is a multi-step, typically eight to twelve month, process involving numerous forms, thorough collection of relevant paperwork and interaction between individual and courts including an in-person hearing.
As such it’s strongly recommended to employ a lawyer to insure paperwork is filed correctly to minimize the already long processing time.
A lawyer may need to provide the courts with additional documentation and engage in communication with other relevant parties at the various stages of the process.
Contact THE LAW OFFICES OF AFONSO & ARCHIE P.C., (856) 786-7000 for more information about expungement.