What Kind Of Crimes Are Eligible For Expungement?
What Kind Of Criminal Records Can Be And Can’t Be Expunged?
There are some disqualifications. One disqualification is if you have more than one felony conviction, or if you have one felony conviction and more than two disorderly persons convictions, that would be a disqualification.
Another is if your conviction is for the sale, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute a controlled or dangerous substance. There is an exception for less than 25 grams of marijuana. If you have three or more disorderly or petty disorderly persons offenses, that would also disqualify you for an expungement.
If you had a prior charge dismissed by way of pretrial intervention or conditional discharge, those are diversionary programs, then you would not be eligible for an expungement.
Also, there are some specific felonies that quite logically are not eligible for expungement. One is criminal homicide, kidnapping, luring or enticing, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, false imprisonment, criminal restraint, robbery, arson, endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct, perjury, or false swearing.
Other than that, anything can be expunged as long as you wait the prescribed amount of time.
There is one other waiting period and that is for if you have an ordinance violation, and this happens in contemplation with some of the conditional discharges. If you have an ordinance violation, you have to wait a year and a half.
James Abate has had cases where there is a conditional discharge entered but also an ordinance violation and then you have to wait a year and a half for the ordinance violation if that’s longer than the conditional discharge.
Does Expungement Apply Just To Convictions Or Can It Apply To arrests, Summons Or Any Other Charges That Might Have Been Dropped Or Dismissed, Expunged As Well?
Yes. You can also have arrests expunged, whether that is something you want to do or not depends on what sort of trouble it causes you.
James Abate has had clients who just can’t deal with the fact that arrest is on there because they know they didn’t do anything wrong and they don’t even want to answer the question if it ever comes up because they know that the charges were dismissed because they didn’t do anything.
So yes, the arrests can be expunged even if you’re not expunging a conviction.
Do Most People Forget About The Arrest And Don’t Even Think About That Because A Potential Employer Could See That?
No, that’s not likely. People do forget about it but a potential employer, taking an example of labor law just to answer this, the typical way that it is going to come up is that they are going to run a check for convictions, not arrests, and they are going to ask about convictions, not arrests because the idea is that anybody can get arrested, not anyone can be convicted.
So, there are some convictions, once you have that conviction, you might as well stop looking for jobs; one of them being shoplifting.
If you’ve been arrested and convicted of shoplifting, do anything you can to get out of that because no one is ever going to hire you to watch their cash register if they know that you’re a shoplifter because it just impugns your ability to be trusted.
There are also some programs out there that New Jersey and other states have been pushing, a “Get Rid of the Box campaign,” which is to get rid of that box on job applications that say, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime,” so that you can’t be asked that question until after you get a job offer.
That’s all fine and dandy if it ever passes, but it hasn’t. It’s still there and until that happens, employers can check on your background, and there is a very good reason to expunge your record.
If you need information on crimes that are eligible for an expungement, 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.
Get your questions answered – call me for your free, 20-min phone consultation 908-643-7005.