South Jersey Expungement Lawyer
Seasoned Criminal Defense Lawyer Helps Clients Obtain Expungements in Camden County, Burlington County and Elsewhere in New Jersey
An arrest or conviction for committing any type of crime can be life altering. According to a 2015 report by the Sentencing Project, more than 60% of formerly incarcerated people are unemployed a year after release. These statistics show that if you are facing criminal charges, you can also face substantial future limitations on the opportunities open to you and your family long after you have served your punishment. After all, a criminal conviction can include a prison sentence and significant financial penalties. You may also become ineligible for state or government benefit programs such as food share and educational grants. Further, it can be difficult to clear your name even if you are innocent of all charges.
Despite this, the potentially dire consequences of a criminal conviction or arrest need not be permanent. If you have been arrested or convicted of a crime, our Camden County expungement lawyer can help explore the possibility of erasing your criminal record through a process known as expungement.
At Gelman Law, LLC, we understand how sensitive and serious your situation can be when accused of committing a crime. Ultimately, we believe that sometimes hardworking and good people find themselves in unfortunate situations that can result in criminal conviction. Regardless of the criminal allegations involved in your case, we have the resources, skill and experience to guide you through this difficult time and explore options for obtaining a clean slate. Our Cherry Hill expungement lawyer can help you regain control of your life and help restore your confidence and peace of mind.
Circumstances Where Expungements May be Possible Under New Jersey Law
In New Jersey, crimes are not categorized as felonies or disorderly persons as they are in many other states. Instead, there are degrees of crimes which are categorized as either indictable offenses or disorderly persons offenses. In many cases, we have been successful in filing a motion to reduce the degree of your crime or the sentence involved, which can be critical to obtaining an expungement—or a clearing of your criminal record—down the road. For example, some crimes cannot be expunged in New Jersey, including those that involve:
- Criminal homicide,
- Sexual offenses,
- Abuse of public office, and
- Endangering the welfare of children.
To help establish your right to expungement down the road, our Camden County expungement attorney will highlight positive facts about you during a formal hearing before a judge in order to fight for reduced charges at the outset. However, the judge will also consider any negative factors if they do exist. For this reason, depending on whether you have been sentenced or arrested, our firm may recommend pre-trial programs to mitigate your risk of incarceration entirely. In general, the best way to reduce the degree of a crime charged or the associated sentence is to present a well-drafted motion that covers all relevant issues in your case.
Some matters a judge will consider when you file a motion to reduce sentencing include:
- Context: A judge will consider the circumstances surrounding the allegations of your crime. For example, if there is little or no personal injury, this can work favorably for your motion and help to reduce the degree of the crime charged.
- Probation: Complying with the terms of probation is looked upon favorably in New Jersey criminal court.
- Type of crime: The type of criminal offense you are alleged to have committed can impact a motion to reduce sentencing and the possibility of future expungement.
- Prior criminal record: Not only will your prior criminal record be considered, but your educational background will be taken into consideration. Courts are much more likely to reduce higher degree crimes to those with lesser penalties if you have no previous criminal record.
- Proactive intervention: Our Cherry Hill expungement lawyer understands that the New Jersey courts may often react favorably to pre-trial intervention. Since this is the case, we can fight to gain access to participation in pre-trial intervention programs.
Gelman Law, LLC Fights to Reduce Degrees of Crime to Protect Your Right to Expungement in Camden County Criminal Cases
Because New Jersey categorizes crimes by degrees, one of the most important ways to determine whether expungement will be possible is to fight for a reduction in the degree of the crime if possible in your case. Our experienced and reliable team of expungement professionals can also help you identify how to mitigate the adverse consequences of an arrest or conviction by fighting for an expungement following completion of your punishment.
If you have questions regarding expungement, it is important to consult with a skilled criminal defense lawyer to evaluate your eligibility and the relevant timelines for expungement. Some of the relevant timelines and rules governing expungements in New Jersey include:
- Disorderly persons offenses. Up to four disorderly persons offenses can be expunged in a single petition for expungement if you have never been convicted of a felony, and while the waiting period is generally five years, a three-year waiting period may now apply.
- Indictable offenses (“felonies”). If the felony crime is not one of the ineligible crimes, one felony can be expunged after a new six-year waiting period has elapsed (five years in some cases).
- Pre-trial intervention programs. If the charge was eventually disposed of through the pre-trial intervention program, conditional discharge or conditional dismissal, it may be expunged after six months of successfully completing the program.
Contact a Hard-Hitting Criminal Defense Lawyer to Discuss the Possibility of Expungement in Your Case Today
Have you been charged with committing a crime in New Jersey? Do you have questions about your rights or how to reduce the potential ongoing consequences of an existing criminal record? Our New Jersey expungement lawyer will examine every angle of your arrest and sentencing to determine whether you are eligible for expungement and help you navigate the process of obtaining that expungement.
At Gelman Law LLC, our success stems from our hard work and years of experience. Our SJ Magazine award recipient attorney believes that sometimes good people find themselves in tough situations. For this reason, we can fight to help mitigate the ongoing risk a criminal record may pose to your future. Call or contact us today to explore options for obtaining an expungement in Cherry Hill or elsewhere in New Jersey.
Frequently Asked Questions About New Jersey Expungements
FAQ: What types of criminal convictions may generally be expunged in New Jersey?
Generally, only violent crimes and certain other crimes that public policy deems should stay on your criminal record permanently are ineligible for expungement. Offenses such as criminal mischief, shoplifting, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, harassment and disorderly conduct are all common examples of crimes that may be expunged in New Jersey. Most juvenile crime offenses are also able to be expunged.
FAQ: Why do I need a lawyer to handle my expungement if I have the right to obtain one?
You don’t just get an expungement under New Jersey law—you have to formally petition for expungement in order to clear your criminal record. For this reason, it is important to have a lawyer to both ensure that the formal process for obtaining the expungement is followed and to advocate on your behalf to protect your right to the expungement generally.