Lawyers for Expungement of a Disorderly Persons Offense in South Jersey
Dedicated Criminal Defense Lawyers Represent Clients in Expungement of Disorderly Persons Offenses in Camden County, Burlington County and Throughout New Jersey
Many clients who have been convicted of a disorderly persons offense might find the most difficult part of the punishment is the need to disclose the offense even after the court-ordered punishment has been completed. Disorderly persons offenses are classified as relatively low-level crimes in New Jersey (similar to misdemeanors in other states). Potential penalties include:
- Up to six months’ in jail
- Up to $1,000 in fines,
- Revocation of the defendant’s driver’s license,
At Gelman Law, LLC, our talented lawyers are committed to helping South Jersey clients get the fresh start they deserve.
Fortunately, the New Jersey legislature has steadily taken steps to expand eligibility for expungement of a disorderly persons offense. The most recent law, which was passed in December 2019, becomes effective June 15, 2020. Notably, the law relaxes the expungement requirements for certain drug-related offenses involving marijuana and hashish.
At Gelman Law, LLC, our experienced expungement lawyers are dedicated to remaining current on new developments important to the workings of the New Jersey criminal justice system. We are here to help you determine whether you are eligible for expungement of a disorderly persons offense under the new rules—even if you have been denied under the more restricted older rules. To learn more, call our office to speak with our experienced South Jersey expungement lawyers today.
Understanding the Expanded Rules for Expungement of a Disorderly Persons Offense in Camden County, NJ
Disorderly persons offenses are still crimes—and disclosure of your conviction can create embarrassment or even significantly hinder your future opportunities. Examples of crimes that may be prosecuted as disorderly persons offenses in South Jersey include:
- Simple assault,
- Simple possession of marijuana (less than 50 grams),
- Possession of drug paraphernalia,
- Disorderly conduct,
- Shoplifting where the item stolen was worth less than $200,
- Resisting arrest,
New Jersey’s new law makes it easier to expunge convictions for disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offense. Under the new law, disorderly persons offenses can be expunged based on the following rules:
- You have not been convicted of another crime (an indictable offense),
- You have been convicted of no more than five disorderly persons offenses, petty disorderly persons offenses (or combination of the two), whether on the same or separate occasions,
- You have been convicted of multiple disorderly persons offenses on the same day and have no prior or subsequent convictions for another offense,
- Generally, five years have passed since you completed your punishment, including payment of financial fines and completion of probation,
- “Compelling reasons” exist, and only three years have passed since you completed your punishment for the disorderly persons offense,
- If the disorderly persons conviction was for marijuana or hashish-related offenses, three years have passed (the compelling reasons standard will be waived for these offenses starting in June 2020),
- You have more than five disorderly persons offense convictions, but ten years have passed from the most recent conviction (the “clean slate” provision).
The new clean slate rule is not available if you have been convicted of a crime that cannot be expunged. Further, if you are convicted of a crime that cannot be expunged in the future, the expungement of your prior offenses will be void—meaning they will all be placed back on your record. Offenses that cannot be expunged generally include violent crimes, such as homicide, robbery and certain sex crimes.
Individuals who have been convicted of an indictable (felony) offense in New Jersey may still be eligible for expungement of a disorderly persons offense under the old rules (which are actually relatively new, as this area of law continues to change). Under the “old” standard, you may be eligible for expungement of a disorderly persons offense if:
- You have been convicted of one indictable offense (felony),
- You have three disorderly (or petty disorderly) persons offenses to expunge, or you have four disorderly persons offenses but they were closely related in circumstances or timing (the “crime spree” rule).
New Jersey Law Expanded to Include Expungement of Certain Drug-Related Offenses as Disorderly Persons Offenses
The new laws governing expungement of disorderly persons offenses in South Jersey are complex and detailed. In some respects, they make expungement simpler. In others, they add additional complications—and you need an experienced lawyer by your side to make sure those complications do not jeopardize your petition for expungement.
Under the new law, certain drug offenses will now be treated as disorderly persons offenses for expungement purposes. Those include:
- Possession with the intent to distribute marijuana (under five pounds) or hashish (under one pound),
- Distribution of marijuana (under five pounds) or hashish (under one pound).
Further, conviction for possession of marijuana (or hashish) or conviction for being under the influence of these drugs will no longer be counted toward determining whether you have exceeded the maximum number of disorderly persons convictions to be eligible for expungement.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today to Discuss Eligibility for Expungement of a Disorderly Persons Offense in South Jersey
At Gelman Law, LLC, our expungement lawyers in South Jersey know how important it is to clear your criminal record. We encourage you to speak with our experienced lawyers about the possibility of expungement even if you had previously been ineligible under the old New Jersey rules. To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss options in your case, call our office or fill out this online contact form today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Expungement of a Disorderly Persons Offense in Burlington County, NJ
The laws contain a good faith exception if the only reason your expungement would be prohibited is that not enough time has passed. The court can allow the expungement and allow you to continue paying your fines in good faith. The court may also enter a civil judgment against you for payment of the fines, but also grant the expungement. Under the new law, responsibility for collecting your fines would be transferred to the State Treasurer.
Under the new law, relevant factors include your age at the time of conviction, the nature of the offense and your conduct since conviction. Our skilled lawyers are here to make the most compelling argument possible on your behalf.