NEWARK, ELIZABETH, JERSEY CITY, New Jersey. Having a criminal record comes with serious collateral consequences. Not only can a criminal record appear on a job background check, it can appear on a credit report check, and it can impact a person’s ability to obtain certain professional licenses. Having a criminal record can make it difficult to access certain forms of public aid to attend school, get housing, or even affect your ability to travel. These consequences can haunt individuals long after they have served their time in jail. Fortunately, for individuals who have met certain requirements, certain types of drug charges are eligible for expungement. Most minor drug charges can now be removed from your record after 6 years, and in some cases, these charges can be removed from your record after 5 years. Previously, most drug distribution convictions were ineligible for expungement, but under new laws more individuals with drug distribution convictions will be eligible for expungement.
In general, major crimes cannot be expunged from your record, but a recent syllabus released by the New Jersey Courts suggests that certain types of drug distribution charges may soon be expungable. Individuals who can demonstrate to the court that they have successfully rehabilitated and are able to lead “law abiding lives” may be able to earn the ability to have certain types of drug distribution charges expunged. This is good news for offenders who previously may have been told that their offenses were too serious to qualify for expungement.
Individuals with third or fourth-degree felony charges would have to show the court that expungement of their charges would be in the public interest. The goal of drug court is to help individuals overcome drug addiction and dependency and ultimately to help individuals reintegrate into society with law abiding jobs. Most experts believe that individuals suffering from drug addictions who face drug charges should be placed into qualified rehabilitation programs instead of facing jail time. Expunging the criminal records of someone who completes Drug Court greatly improves that person’s chances of reintegrating.
What crimes are not eligible for expungement? According to N.J.S.A.2C:52-2, crimes like homicide, sexual assault, robbery, and first or second degree drug sale offenses are not eligible for expungement. Previously, if a person owed restitution, their crimes were not eligible for expungement, but under new guidelines, a person may be able to remove crimes from their records if they show effort and intent to pay restitution.
If you want to see if you are eligible for expungement, or begin the process, your first step should be to contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer like Eric M. Mark Law in Newark, Elizabeth, and Jersey City, New Jersey. Visit us at https://www.ericmarklaw.com/ to learn more about your rights and options. If you qualify for expungement, we can assist you with the process so that you can move forward with your life.
Address: 201 Washington St.
Newark, NJ 07102
Phone: (973) 453-2009