Early Pathway Expungement Granted in Bergen County

Wolf Law successfully represented a client in obtaining an early pathway expungement in Bergen County, New Jersey.  The client was convicted of third degree possession of CDS with intent to distribute in the Bergen County Superior Court in 2006.  At the time of the offense, the client was only 20 years of age.  Since then, the client had married, had two children, and had been working as a pool technician.  He explained, however, that his felony conviction was holding him back as he would like to advance in his career in order to better provide for his family.

In order to be eligible for expungement, however, the client had to overcome two obstacles.  The first was that he was seeking to expunge his felony conviction early as only 7 years had passed since he finished his sentence for the felony conviction (the normal waiting period to expunge a felony conviction is 10 years).  The second issue was the fact that he was convicted of possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) with intent  to distribute.  Prior to 2010, anyone convicted of possession of CDS with intent to distribute in New Jersey was forever barred being able to expunge such a conviction from their record.  In 2010, however, the law changed.  So long as the conviction is in either the third or fourth degree (first and second degree convictions are still ineligible for expungement) and the petitioner satisfies the “public interest” determination, a court may, in its discretion, grant the expungement.

In arguing that the court should grant the client’s expungement, the expungement attorneys at theWolf Law first focused on the nature of the offense.  We highlighted that the client was only 20 years old at the time of the arrest.  At the time of the offense, the client was driving the co-defendant, who had drugs in his backpack.  We pointed out, however, that the drug were not our client’s – a determination that was supported by the evidence in the underlying criminal case s the co-defendant’s personal belongings were found in the backpack along with the drugs.   Moreover, we noted that the client was cooperative throughout the court proceedings in the underlying criminal case.

We next went on to highlight the client’s accomplishments, among other things.  We explained that, after the conviction, the client moved out of New Jersey to “start over” in Florida, where he went to school, worked, and started a family.  The client had no other additional arrests after the felony conviction.  Most importantly, we explained to the court the effect that the criminal conviction has had on the client’s life.  Although he was able to support himself as a pool technician, the client wished to be able to better provide for his family and wanted to become a physical therapy assistant.  He feared, however, that despite his education and training, he would not be able to do so because of the felony conviction.  After submitting various documentation, including a brief, character reference letters, and plea and sentencing transcripts, among other things, and making oral argument to the court, the judge agreed that the client had demonstrated that he deserved the expungement and granted it.

The expungement lawyers at theWolf Law have successfully represented many clients in obtaining an “early pathway” or “public interest” expungement of their felony records.  If you are interested in applying for an expungement of a drug charge or an “early pathway” expungement, contact us at (732) 741-4448 for a free consultation.