The New Jersey Expungement Process
Step 1: Are You Eligible
- The first step in the process of getting your record expunged in the State of New Jersey is to find out if you are even eligible for an expungement.
- The New Jersey expungement law under what is the “New Jersey Expungement Statute N.J.S.A. 2C:52-1 et seq.” Clearly defines and states who is eligible for an expungement and the processes to follow in order for an individual to obtain an expungement.
- The New Jersey expungement law provides individuals with limited rights for obtaining an expungement.
- The purpose of the New Jersey expungement law is to give a person who has one or a limited few convictions a new start. Let’s just say a second chance.
- The law also allows for the expungements of a persons records where the arrest, complaint, summons, warrant or indictment did not end in a conviction.
For full details on your eligibility requirements kindly visit our “Are You Eligible” section.
Step 2: Getting Your Records
- The second step in the process of getting your record expunged in the State of New Jersey is to obtain all your records.
- We will need your records to prove that you are eligible for an expungement.
- We will need your records in order to prepare your expungement petition to the Court.
- Your complete records must be included with the filing of the expungement petition or your expungement case will be denied by the Court.
- If you do not have your records or simply don’t remember all your incidents, we can show you the correct place to get your full records history.
Please note that we offer a service whereby, we can get all your records for you.
For the full details on getting your records, the type of records and the locations of your records please visit our “Getting Your Records” section.
Step 3: Filing Your Expungement
- Once we have confirmed your eligibility for an expungement and received your records from steps one and two, we will prepare your case documents.
- Once all the case documents are completed we will file the full original set with two copies with the Court, this will include the, the Court filing fee in the amount of $75.00.
- We usually get the stamped copy from the Court back within four to six weeks, included will be the Order for Hearing proving us the Court hearing date.
Step 4: Serving the Case Documents & Court Hearing Date
- Once all the stamped filed copies of the expungement case documents are received back from the Court, including the Order for Hearing affixing the Hearing Date.
- We will Serve a copy via: Certified Mail of the Expungement Petition, Order for Hearing, Proposed Final Order for Expungement and Disposition Records to each of the particular agencies depending on the type and amount of charges a client has.
- We may also have to serve multiple county agencies depending on the amount or types of charges a client has.
- The reason for serving the expungement case documents to all the agencies is to give notice of the expungement petition and hearing date, but more importantly to give the agencies an opportunity to object to the expungement should they feel it necessary to do so before the Court hearing date.
- We will also have to serve all other agencies that had anything to do with the clients case.
- We will forward to the Court all the “Proof of Delivery” certified signed return receipts from the USPS before the Court hearing date.
- Court Hearing Date: In 99.9% of the cases you are not required to be at the Court hearing date. The Expungement Court hearing date are “non- appearance” Court dates. In very few expungement cases is the client asked to be present at the Court hearing date.
Step 5: Serving the Final Order for Expungement
- On the date of your Court hearing the Judge of the County Superior Court will grant you the expungement by executing the Order for Expungement.
- We will within four weeks or less time after the Court hearing date receive the executed signed Order for Expungement from the Court.
- Once the Order for Expungement is received by our office we will then serve the Order of Expungement via; certified mail again to the agencies that we served the original case documents the first time.
- At this point the agencies will receive the Order for Expungement and expunge and seal your records from their files.
- You generally have to give the agencies a time period of about four to six weeks from the date of receiving your order to comply.
- Lastly, your records are expunged and sealed.
How much time does it take for the process to be completed?
- Our experience tells us that from the date we file your case with the Court, generally the complete process from beginning to end takes about five to six months. Whereby, you can feel confident that your record is cleared from any of the information that was expunged by order of the Court.
- Please Note, that it take about three to four months for your case to be completed within the Court system which most attorneys will tell you. But, that does not mean that your record is officially expunged from the State agencies. Once you have been granted the expungement by way of Court order, then you have to serve all the required State agencies particular to your case and then you must generally give the State agencies another thirty to sixty days for them to expunge your records from there systems. This is why we say it can takes five to six months for your records to be officially expunged.
- Some County Superior Courts do take more time and can be up to five and six months, these are the Counties were the staff is being cut back due to budget restraints, including under staffing of certain departments.
- One of the most important and vital issues in getting your expungement case completed quickly is the quality of the attorney and staff working on your case. Including the fact that if any issues arise and believe us! Many minor things are requested from different agencies all the time to keep the cases moving forward who are you going to trust? A real estate attorney who is simply doing your expungement as a secondary extra case. This is were our staff is completely dedicated and of great value to our clients. We will immediately get on top of the issue, do whatever it takes to resolve it and minimize delays.
- We triple check your case documents to make sure that your case will comply with the Court requirements and procedures. If your case is completed in error or procedures are not followed correctly the Court will object and reject your case causing delays and problems.
- Again, when you want your case to be processed quickly and without delay. It is very important to use an experienced expungement lawyer who knows the process and all the different issues that arise.