What is an expungement?

An expungement is theremoval and isolation of all records on file within any court, detention or correctional facility, law enforcement, criminal justice agency or juvenile justice agency concerning a person’s apprehension, arrest, detention, trial or disposition of an offense within the criminal or juvenile justice system.

An expungement of records involves a court process in which upon successful completion of that process, you get a court order signed by a judge. The court order states that the offense “…shall be deemed not to have occurred.” Persons doing a background check through New Jersey State Police or through the FBI will receive a response that there is “no record.” Additionally, after you expunge your criminal record, you are legally entitled to state that the arrest or conviction never happened.

Why should you get one?

First it is important to realize that even if you were not taken into custody or fingerprinted; you were still ‘arrested’ and your record could be in a public or government database. Even instances where a person is issued a summons or just pays a fine are reported as ‘arrests.’ Additionally, even if the charges against you were dismissed, you were granted entry into the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program or received a Conditional Discharge; a record of you rest still exists

Perhaps you are applying to nursing school or want to be a teacher? Maybe you are seeking to attain a NJ firearm identification card or are looking to attain a job in securities or at a major corporation? Would you like to rent a new apartment or adopt a child? Maybe you would like to coach a Little League baseball team or volunteer? Most situations such as the aforementioned and many others require background checks. Do not let a mistake in your past affect your future!

More than ever in our society today, a clean criminal record is a very pertinent asset. It often determines whether an applicant gets a certain job or even determines whether someone who already has a particular job can keep that job or advance within the organization. It can also affect decisions of professional licensing boards, loan providers and landlords, to name a few. Criminal record checks are required for many situations. An expungement enables an applicant to avoid any unpleasant consequences of past situations.

Why should you hire an attorney?

Getting an expungement is not an easy process and not all crimes can be expunged. Before beginning the process, one must determine eligibility. The law carefully defines who is eligible for an expungement. You must meet certain requirements and allow for the appropriate waiting periods to pass. It is a good idea to discuss your case with an attorney to first determine eligibility and then to ensure the proper paperwork is filed. Filing on your own can result in improperly or untimely filed documentation that has the potential to damage your chances of attaining the desired results. Filing via an attorney will ensure all requirements are met and thus increase your chances of meeting your goal of a clean record.


Juvenile Charges and Expungements: (see Juvenile Defense section)


Who should you call?

If you or someone you know are ready to release the burden of your past mistakes and start over with a ‘clean slate’; and would like further information regarding an expungement, determining eligibility, etc. please contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Grasso at 732-780-9932 or mgrasso@grassolawoffice.com today.