Expungements and the Changing Laws

Author: Wolfe Ossa lawCategories: Expungements

Legal Updates Regarding Expungements

An expungement erases criminal offenses from one’s record.  The expungement process involves filing a petition with the Superior Court requesting that a specific criminal offense or set of offenses be expunged from one’s criminal record.  Upon approval of the petition by a judge, the offenses are expunged, i.e. considered not to have occurred.

On December 20, 2017, then-governor Chris Christie approved a series of measures to ease the expungement process by reducing the base waiting period for expunging a record from ten years to six years and by allowing more types of offenses to be expunged, including marijuana-related offenses.  The measures also strengthen New Jersey’s “ban the box” law to prevent employers from requiring job candidates to divulge information about expunged records.  These measures take effect on October 1, 2018.

All of this means that getting an expungement in New Jersey is going to be easier and more effective than it ever has been.  However, while it is possible to file a petition for expungement pro se (i.e. without a lawyer), the process is complicated and the courts tend to be very particular when reviewing expungement petitions.  The process of filing a petition by oneself can be stressful.  Further, a pro se petition may carry less weight with the court than a petition filed by an attorney.  The attorneys at Wolfe Ossa Law have done many expungements and can make the process stress-free.  If you are looking to get an expungement done, give us a call and we will walk you through the process and answer whatever questions you may have.

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