NEED AN EXPUNGEMENT?
WE CAN HELP!
But its not what you think or
what other Lawyers will tell
you. Learn the Simple Truth
below, it may scare you!
|Learn the truth before you make your decision about seeking an expungement in NJ
First you must qualify for an expungement. In general the qualifications are:
1) It must be an offense which can be expunged (Note that most felonies, such as sexual assault or armed robberies, can't be expunged.)
2) You must wait the required amount of time as required by law to get the expungement (most cases 1 to 5 years
for a disorderly person offense and 5-10 years for a felony crime)
3) Your expungement must be approved by the court.
An Exception to the above rule is that an expungement may be approved in 4 years for a felony if the petitioner
can show that doing so is in the public interest (compelling interest). This standard requires the petitioner to
show something more than just simply he/she has been offense free for over 4 years.
Assuming you meet the three qualifications above in most cases your criminal record can be expunged.
However for many people this expungement is not worth the paper its written on. Why? Because most
employers, individuals and insurance companies today do not use the New Jersey or FBI record database to
search for criminal records. Note that many felonies, such as sexual assault or armed robberies, can't be
expunged (please contact our office for the complete list)
Most employers and individuals use companies which independently search the public records through either
search engines or private companies. Over 25 of these companies exist today charging employers and
individuals from $5.00 to over $50.00 for a search. When you are arrested for a criminal offense your name,
address and offense charge becomes a public record (the only exceptions are crimes committed by minors).
Companies today use Internet criminal record checks as a way of saving money. By far this is much cheaper
than sending someone down to the local county and federal court houses to search the public records.
Remember court records are open to the public that is why you will hear about a celebrity being arrested the
next day etc. Private companies all over the country collect criminal history and other personal information
from these public court records. These companies store that information on their own computers and thus in
most cases are not required by law to update these records to include your expungement.
In the normal course of things, no one informs these companies when a record is expunged. The courts do not
even keep track of who has searched their records. Therefore the information that those companies previously
stored can still be reported, not by the court, and not by New Jersey State Police or the FBI, but by these private
companies. This exact situation was discussed in depth in an article in The New York Times on October 17, 2006
and the Wall Street Journal on November 11, 2009, and New Jersey Lawyer June 2010 issue. Although the
expungment law was updated in 2020 the problems outlined by these articles has not changed or been addressed
by the new law.
There is no complete solution to this problem thus with the rise of the Internet search engines it is the opinion
of this office that at this time in most cases an expungement is very limited. We suggest that you save your
money. However, now that we have provided you with this information, if you have been found guilty of a crime
and you still wish to have your criminal record expunged, please call our office at 1-800-9-RIGHTS. However,
remember the best defense to a criminal charge is to hire the best lawyer in the first place and never get
|H. Scott Aalsberg, Esq., P.C.
Attorneys at Law
Main Office: G-10 Brier Hill Court, East Brunswick, N.J. 08816
1028 Route #23 North, Wayne, N.J. 07470
1-800-9-RIGHTS or (732) 257-5040