There is no question that having a criminal conviction on your permanent record could follow you for the rest of your life. Every time you apply for a job or submit a rental application, there is always a chance you could be denied due to your criminal history.
Fortunately, some qualify to have their criminal records expunged. If your record is expunged, you could proceed as if you were never convicted in the first place. To do so, allow a well-versed criminal attorney to assist you. A Hackensack expungement lawyer could help you through the legal process and fight to secure your future.
Not every person with a criminal record has the option to expunge it. For instance, under state law, the number of indictable offenses on a person’s record is the primary factor in determining if expungement could be viable. Anyone with more than five disorderly person convictions will also not qualify.
There are also specific offenses that can never be expunged in New Jersey. These included convictions for arson, robbery, sex crimes, or the distribution of controlled substances. Other offenses—like drug possession or shoplifting—could be qualifiable depending on a person’s remaining criminal history. An attorney in Hackensack could review an individual’s record and advise them if they qualify for expungement in a private consultation.
In 2019, New Jersey took additional steps to make expungement a reality for its residents. By adopting the Clean Slate Law, it is now possible for qualifying individuals to clear their entire criminal history.
Under the Clean Slate Law, an individual who has not been convicted of a crime in the last 10 years could be entitled to having their record wiped clean. This goes beyond expunging a single criminal conviction. Instead, all qualifying convictions could be expunged through a single legal procedure.
When calculating the 10-year period that applies to this law, it is essential to remember that the clock does not begin running immediately upon conviction. A person is only qualified under this statute 10 years after completing their final sentence. That means paying all the fines, serving any jail time, and covering the court costs are all necessary. A lawyer familiar with the Clean Slate Law in Hackensack could help an individual determine their legal options to get their record expunged.
In another attempt to simplify the expungement process, state law now allows for expungement requests to be e-filed without the need to appear in person. The process for filing a request is simple, but having it granted remains complex.
Notably, there are no limitations on who can e-file online and apply for a hearing. However, securing an expungement at the scheduled hearing requires the same proof as it always has under the law—making it imperative to retain a local lawyer to help ensure the proper documentation is submitted at the proper time.
If you have been convicted of a crime in the past and are ready for a fresh start in life, expungement might be the answer to secure your future. While expunging your criminal record could be the best-case scenario, success is never guaranteed, especially if done incorrectly.
A Hackensack expungement lawyer could help you apply to clear your record and build your reputation. Call the office today to schedule a private consultation.