Updates to NJ Expungement Laws Effective October 2018

On October 1, 2018, new changes go 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, petty disorderly persons offenses, and/or juvenile offenses.

Indictable Convictions:

  • The waiting period to expunge an indictable conviction is now only 6 years. Previously, the waiting period was 10 years. Please note that individuals may also be eligible for an “early pathway” expungement after only 5 years.
  • Individuals with an indictable conviction and up to 3 disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses can file for expungement. The previous limit was 2 disorderly or petty disorderly persons offenses.
  • Individuals can expunge multiple convictions if all convictions are listed in a single judgement of conviction or the convictions “were interdependent or closely related in circumstances and were committed as part of a sequence of events that took place within a comparatively short period of time.” This is also known as the “crime spree exception.” The previous the previous limit was 1 indictable conviction.
  • Individuals may file for expungement after 6 years even if they still owe fines and the expungement would be in the “public interest.”
  • The prohibition of expungements for individuals who had prior or subsequent charges dismissed following the completion of a supervisory or diversion program (such as Pre-Trial Intervention) has been eliminated.

Disorderly Persons and Petty Disorderly Persons Offenses:

  • Individuals with no indictable convictions can expunge up to 4 disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses. The previous limit was 3 disorderly or petty disorderly persons offenses.

Juvenile Offenses:

  • The waiting period to expunge a juvenile conviction is is now only 3 years. Previously, the waiting period was 5 years.

Young Drug Offenders:

  • For offenses involving possession or use of a controlled dangerous substance, New Jersey allows individuals who were 21 years old or younger at the time of the offense to expunge their records after a waiting period of only 1 year. However, the law previously did not allow an expungement for a conviction of the sale or distribution of marijuana or possession with the intent to sell marijuana if the total amount sold, distributed, or possessed with intent to sell was 25 grams or less. This limitation has been increased to 1 ounce.

These updates should help many people who want to expunge their records.

Call Jason T. Komninos, Esq. at (201) 343-4622 to schedule a consultation.