In April of 2016, the expungement statute was broadened to provide for the “early pathway” expungement of disorderly persons (or misdemeanor) convictions in New Jersey. While an early pathway expungement had previously been available for felony convictions prior to April of 2016 (making applicants eligible for expungement of their felony convictions five years after completion of their sentence, as opposed to the standard ten year waiting period), a similar provision was not available with respect to the early expungement of disorderly persons convictions.
Under the new expungement law, however, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:52-3(b)(2), an early pathway expungement for disorderly persons convictions is now available. Although the standard waiting period to expunge a disorderly persons conviction remains five years, you can now apply under the new law for expungement of a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense after only three years – so long as certain conditions are met.
Just recently, the expungement attorneys at theWolf Law successfully represented a client in obtaining an early pathway expungement of her disorderly persons conviction for theft in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3A in New Jersey. The client pleaded guilty to having committed the theft in March of 2012.
In arguing that the court should grant our client an early expungement, we first focused on the nature of offense, which involved the theft of women’s accessories. While admitting that the client’s conduct was reprehensible, we nonetheless noted that her conduct was non-violent, that no drugs or alcohol were involved, and that no one was injured as a result of her actions. We next focused on the client’s character and conduct since the subject offense explaining that the client had been employed as a successful executive and that she was the recipient of several awards in her industry. We further noted that the client was involved in the community. Not only was she involved in her church but she was also a regular financial contributor to charitable organizations. Finally, we also pointed out that the client had recently been laid off and was having difficulty obtaining a new position as a result of her record. This, in turn, was effecting her ability to provide for her family and was having a tremendous impact on her life. In the end, the Judge agreed that the client was deserving of a early expungement and, therefore, granted the expungement.
The “early pathway” expungement is complex and requires compliance with many conditions as well as a court appearance in most cases. As such, it is best to consult with an attorney if you are seeking an early expungement. 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.