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What Factors Can Affect The Expungement Process?

How Much Is Someone’s Criminal History Going To Affect Their Chances Of Having An Expungement Approved Or Processed?

If someone has a spotty record, they’re probably not going to be eligible because if they have more than one felony or a felony and two misdemeanors or three or more misdemeanors, they’re not going to be eligible.

The bottom line is an expungement is not given to people with the spotty record; it’s given to someone who made a mistake one time and is looking to get forgiveness for that one-time mistake.

What Happens If Someone’s In The Expungement Process And Are Charged With Another Crime During That Process? Does That Disrupt Or Change Anything?

Yes, that’s probably going to put an end to that expungement. What happens when an expungement is filed is that the attorney files a petition with the court to have the matter expunged. The notice of hearing is then sent to about 14 different agencies that report to the prosecutor, to the county prosecutor.

It goes from the county prosecutor’s office where your arrest occurred to the state police, to the municipal court where it occurred and various other agencies. Those agencies do searches of their records and for instance, the state police will do an FBI background search and they’d see if he’d been arrested anywhere else.

They will then report their findings to the county prosecutor, and the county prosecutor will then use that information to oppose or agree to the expungement. So, if you go ahead and get arrested, the state police, when they run your background, are going to say, “Well, we have a new arrest here,” and they are going to report to the county prosecutor. And the county prosecutor is going to oppose based on it not being 10 years since the last or for a variety of reasons.

So what the attorney will normally do is they’ll just withdraw the application rather than wait for the police and the prosecutor to essentially kill it.

How Does The Actual Expungement Process Flows? What Kind Of Preparation Or Paperwork Is Needed When They Visit An Attorney?

The more information you have for the attorney, the more effective they’re going to be in getting the expungement granted. Since the expungement process is typically going to take about four months to get through the process, that’s why you want to speed the process up by having as much information as you can.

One of those pieces of information is where did you get arrested. It seems like a simple thing but sometimes people just say, “It was somewhere in New Jersey,” what were you arrested for, sometimes people don’t remember the exact specifics. So, if they know where they were arrested, what they were arrested for, the summons number, if they’ve got a docket of disposition, which really can speed the process up.

People don’t know that attorneys had that information, and they know how to get it but it takes additional time for them to get that information.

Do People Have A Copy Of The Records In Order To File? How Does Someone Go About Getting An Official Copy?

It doesn’t have to be an official copy. If you just know the court you went to, which people usually remember where they went to when they contact the court and make sure they have the complaint numbers, and people normally do have that information.

In Terms Of The Expungement Process When Someone Gets An Attorney, Do They Actually Have To Go To Court Themselves And If So, How Many Times?

Typically, they will not have to go to court. Typically it’s going to be done on the papers. The one exception is going to be if there is an application for early expungement.

Does This Four Month Time Frame Also Include The Time It Will Take For Record Systems To Clear Up?

No. That’s just to get the order, and then the order will go to the state police. The state police will clear their records. There are a lot of database companies out there that don’t update their records every day, and it may be that they recheck their records every six months or so, maybe in another six months before that catches up with the databases.

Another thing that sometimes happens and nothing can be done about it is there’ll be a police blotter on an arrest, and it goes in the local newspaper and the town newspaper. And if they have an online addition, someone Googles your name and it’s there.

There is yet to find a way to get that out of the internet. It’s not just going through the legal process; you have some other social factors that you don’t necessarily have control over just yet.

If you need information regarding factors that can affect the expungement process, contact the Law Offices of James A. Abate for a free initial consultation at 908-643-7005 and get the answers and information you’re seeking.

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