Early Expungement Granted for Client Convicted of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in New Jersey

Just recently, the expungement attorneys at theWolf Law represented a client in successfully obtaining an “early pathway” conviction of her felony conviction for unlawful possession of a weapon in Ocean County, New Jersey. The client was arrested in 2006 at the age of 20 and charged with being in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3B, terroristic threats; N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5D, unlawful possession of weapon; and N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4D, weapon possession unlawful purpose. She appeared in the Ocean County Superior Court in 2007, where she plead guilty to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5D (weapon possession unlawful purpose) and was sentenced to a one-year term of probation, which the client completed in November of 2008.

After the expungement lawyers at theWolf Law filed the client’s petition for expungement, however, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office objected to the expungement on the basis that the expungement was early as 10 years had not yet passed since the client completed her probation. In response, our office submitted a comprehensive legal brief on the client’s behalf, along with all of the other documentation that is required by the court for early pathway expungement cases, in order to demonstrate that an early pathway expungement of the client’s felony conviction would be in the public interest.

In convincing the Court that expungement was in the public interest in this client’s case, we first focused on the nature of the offense. We pointed out that the incident occurred when the client was only 20 years old and that it arose out of a fight she had with her sister. We explained to the Court that, although the client’s conduct was reprehensible, there were no injuries arising out of the client’s conduct, nor were they are threats to injure others.
We went on to explain that, since the client’s conviction almost eight years ago, she has engaged in activities that decrease the risk of re-offending and has avoided activities that enhance that risk. Since the incident, for example, the client had been employed as an EMT. She had also graduated from college and received her Bachelor’s. We further explained to the Court that the client enjoys volunteer work and that for the past five years she served as a volunteer for the American Cancer Society. We also explained that the client lead a very active lifestyle and enjoyed running, having completed several half marathons.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we advised the Court as to how the client’s conviction has impeded her efforts to resume a productive life. Although the client had completed the first semester of nursing school, after running a background check on her, she was advised by the school that she could no longer participate in that program due to her record. Subsequently, after graduating from college, she decided that she wanted to become a social worker, but was denied several internships due to her conviction. As a result of not being able to secure an internship, she was forced to drop out of the program during the second week.

In addition to various other documentation that is required for “early pathway” expungements, we also provided the Court with several character reference letters, volunteer letter, awards, degrees, and certificates on behalf of the client. After reading the various submissions our office sent to the Court on the client’s behalf, the prosecutor advised the court that they were withdrawing their objection on the basis that the full ten years had not elapsed. The Court, therefore, granted the expungement.

If you are interested in apply for an early pathway felony expungement in New Jersey, you can read more about the process here. You can also contact a New Jersey expungement attorney at theWolf Law for a free consultation anytime to find it if you would be a good candidate for an early expungement. In addition to be eligible for an early expungement 5 years after the date you completed your sentence on a felony conviction (the normal waiting period is 10 years), you can also apply for an early expungement 3 years after you completed your sentence for any disorderly persons convictions (the normal waiting period is 5 years). Call us anytime us (732) 741-4448.