Updates to NJ Expungement Laws Effective February 2021

On February 15, 2021, sweeping new changes went into effect for the expungement laws in New Jersey. These updates will help people who are seeking expungement of indictable convictions (also known as criminal convictions or felony convictions), disorderly persons convictions (also known as misdemeanor convictions), and various marijuana related convictions.

These are just some of the new changes in the law:

  • Eligibility for indictable convictions: An individual who was not eligible to file for an expungement due to having more than one indictable conviction may now be eligible to expunge the most recent conviction, if that conviction is eligible for expungement.
  • “Clean Slate” expungements: The new law now allows petitioners who may have not been eligible to file for expungement may now be able to file a “Clean Slate” expungement after the expiration of ten years.
  • The new standard waiting period for the expungement of an indictable conviction has been lowered to five years.
  • There is no longer a waiting period to file for an expungement of certain marijuana related convictions.
  • Certain indictable convictions for marijuana related crimes are now considered disorderly persons convictions for the purposes of expungement.
  • You can now expunge up to five disorderly persons convictions.
  • In addition, certain convictions for marijuana related disorderly persons offenses no longer count against the limit for filing for expungement.
  • An individual can file for an expungement of disorderly persons convictions after three years if they meet the new “compelling reasons” standard. The previous standard for early filing was the “public interest” standard.

Given the many new changes, it is critical to speak to an attorney to determine your eligibility if you are considering filing for an expungement. Call 201.343.4622 to schedule a consultation.