An expungement order will legally destroy records or information in files, computers and other depositories relating to New Jersey criminal charges. Although the records do not simply disappear they cannot be accessed for general law enforcement or civil use. A person receiving a expungement is treated in all respects as if he or she had never been arrested, convicted or sentenced, except that, upon conviction of any crime committed after the expungement order has been entered, the prior conviction may be considered by the court determining the sentence to be imposed.
A person is eligible to have their record expunged if he or she was found not guilty, or whose case was dismissed or not prosecuted, or if convicted of an offense when the petitioner has completed all the terms and conditions of the sentence and has since been convicted of no other crime, except a motor vehicle offense (other than driving while intoxicated). Depending on the nature of the offense, a convicted person must wait a prescribed period of years before being eligible to seek expungement. For example, a person convicted of a violent crime, multiple offenses, any type of obstruction of justice, or of any offense for which the petitioner was sentenced to an extended term of imprisonment is not eligible for expungement.
The police may maintain arrest and conviction records, and are permitted to communicate information regarding the expunged record of arrest or conviction to other law enforcement officers for legitimate investigative purposes, in defense of any civil suit arising out of the facts of the arrest, or to the police agencies for the purpose of determining the fitness of a candidate to serve as a law enforcement officer.
For more information about your options for expungement, contact The Law Offices of Veronica R. Norgaard, LLC online in New Brunswick, New Jersey, or by calling 732-226-7619 today.