Early Expungements for N.J.S.A. 2C:52-3

Early Pathway Expungements for Disorderly Persons or Petty Disorderly Persons Convictions Under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-3

You must generally wait 5 years to expunge a conviction for a disorderly persons offense (or misdemeanor) or a petty disorderly persons offense. Effective April 18, 2016, however, the expungement statute was amended to provide for an “early pathway” disorderly persons expungement.  Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:52-3, you can apply for expungement of a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense after only 3 years –  so long as certain conditions are met.  The “early pathway” expungement is complex and requires compliance with many conditions as well as a court appearance.  As such, it is best to consult with an attorney if you are seeking an early expungement.

Ordinarily, a person convicted of a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense in New Jersey must wait 5 years from the date of their conviction, payment of fine, or satisfactory completion of probation, whichever is later, in order to seek an expungement. Under the new law, however, the expungement statute was amended to allow certain convicted persons to have their records expunged after a period of only 3 years had elapsed.

In order to be eligible for a so-called “early expungement,” the individual must establish that granting such an expungement would be in the public interest. In determining whether or not an early expungement would be in the public interest, courts can consider numerous factors, including: the circumstances surrounding the offense, the applicant’s character and conduct before and/or after conviction, evidence that the conviction has impeded efforts to resume a law-abiding life, the nature of the offense, whether the applicant has engaged in activities that would limit the risk of re-offending (such as whether the applicant has received job education and training and maintained family and community ties that promote law-abiding behavior), the number of years that has passed since the conviction, and the applicant’s performance while incarcerated or while on probation.

Wolf Law has helped many individuals apply for and receive an early expungement under the 2010 amendments to the expungement statute, which provided for early expungements of felony convictions after only 5 years (normal waiting time is 10 years).  When applying for early expungements, our firms will focus on the positive factors that weigh in favor of an early expungement in your case.  Some of those factors might include your age at the time of the offense, the nature of the offense, your job education and training since your conviction, your educational background, your criminal history in general, and whether the conviction has prevented you from doing something you would otherwise be able to do, such as getting a job, progressing in your career, coaching, or renting an apartment.

If you or someone you know would like to apply for an early expungement, contact the attorneys at theWolf Law today for a free consultation.  Our attorneys will first determine whether or not you are eligible for an early expungement. If so, we will then prepare a brief on your behalf, focusing on how an early expungement in your specific case would be in the public interest.  Contact us today at (732) 741-4448.