A criminal record may just follow you for the rest of your life. With this reality, you may be wondering whether it is possible to get it expunged. Read on to discover if your felony charge can be expunged and how a seasoned Gloucester County, NJ expungement lawyer at The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. can walk you through this.
By definition, what is expungement?
Put simply, an expungement proceeding is when an individual, who has been arrested for or convicted of a crime, seeks that the records of their previous criminal proceedings be sealed or destroyed. In this way, their criminal record will be nonexistent or unavailable to the general public.
There are several benefits to getting your criminal record expunged, and they read as follows:
- It can better your chances of obtaining employment.
- It can better your chances of obtaining housing.
- It can better your chances of obtaining loans.
- It can better your chances of furthering your education.
- It can better your chances of obtaining custody rights or visitation rights for your child.
Is it possible to get my felony charge expunged in the state of New Jersey?
For the possibility of getting your crime expunged, you will first have to wait a minimum of five years to apply. Once this waiting period is over, you will have to file a Petition of Expungement with the Superior Court in the county where your arrest or prosecution took place. A judge will decide on the matter by considering the type of offense you receive, the number and nature of your offenses, and how long ago the offense was committed. If they find that you are eligible, they will issue an Expungement Order.
While a few felonies can be expunged in the state of New Jersey, most cannot be. More specifically, serious felonies, violent felonies, and felonies against children are not afforded this option. Examples of such read as follows:
- Homicide (especially of an elderly or disabled individual, or an active-duty first responder).
- Kidnapping (especially of a minor).
- Aggravated sexual assault (especially if you used a date rape drug).
- Robbery (especially if you used or threatened to use a firearm or deadly weapon).
- Distribution of controlled substances.
- Sale of controlled substances.
- Possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.
With all this considered, if you are currently undergoing criminal proceedings for any of the above crimes, you must not proceed any further without legal representation from an experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer. We will do everything in our power to reduce or altogether eliminate the charges placed against you. So pick up the phone and give us a call today.