Time is of the essence when you are trying to expunge your records in New Jersey. After all, the sooner you expunge your records, the sooner you can get on with your life. Those who have criminal convictions hanging over their shoulder may struggle with employment and housing opportunities. In addition, the psychological burden of having your criminal records publicly available for anyone curious enough can be quite distressing.
How long does it take to expunge your record in New Jersey? This is a common question for many people trying to clear their names, and in truth, there is no easy answer. Each person’s situation is slightly different, and the time it takes to expunge your record depends entirely on your unique circumstances. Factors might include the specific offense you are trying to expunge, the supporting documents you have access to, and recent changes in New Jersey law. That being said, one of the best ways to speed up this process is to work with a qualified attorney in New Jersey who has specific experience with expungements.
Marijuana Expungements are Progressing at a Slow Pace in New Jersey
Back in 2022, there was an influx of New Jersey citizens trying to have their past marijuana convictions expunged. This was due to recent legislative changes put in place by Governor Phil Murphy. A total of 360,000 expungements were supposed to be automatically dealt with, but it soon became clear that this process was advancing at a relatively slow pace. While the effort to have these convictions automatically expunged was clearly a step in the right direction, there are those who say that New Jersey’s execution of this process could have been better.
It was later revealed that just 11 people had been tasked with expunging these records. Considering the fact that there were hundreds of thousands of marijuana convictions that needed to be expunged, the delays are not surprising. This team of 11 people was eventually expanded to 41, but the delays continued to cause frustration even after this change was made.
Some records are easier to expunge than others. For example, if someone has only a marijuana conviction on their record, then the automatic process should happen relatively seamlessly. But what happens if the individual has numerous convictions on their record aside from the marijuana charge? In this case, courts must carefully consider each individual charge and determine if any of these crimes make the individual ineligible for automatic expungement. When you consider the fact that someone might have dozens or even hundreds of charges on their rap sheet, it is clear that this can be a time-consuming process.
While these delays can be frustrating, it is important to note that there are options you can take to speed the process along. An obvious step is to work with an experienced attorney who has dealt with expungements in the past. These legal professionals can look into your expungement and determine what might be causing the delays. In addition, they can help you file an expedited application that could potentially get you an expungement faster.
How Long Will My Expungement Take in New Jersey?
Courts Are Extremely Backed-Up!!!! The blow is general information, but currently we can provide you a more accurate timeline, which is not as expedited as it once was, or should and could be. It is difficult to say how long your expungement will take in New Jersey, as each case is different. That being said, a typical expungement can take a few months to complete from start to finish. This includes the initial process of getting in touch with an attorney, gathering your documents, signing the affidavit, and going through a waiting period. The processing process alone generally takes about 60 days, so for the most part, you can expect a wait time of at least a couple of months.
Realistically, you should expect to wait about a year. While the “official” processing times listed on government websites might sound encouraging, you have to remember that they are rarely accurate. As we have seen in regard to marijuana expungements, backlogs, and bottlenecks are common. When New Jersey suddenly makes new candidates eligible for expungements, we experience situations like the one outlined above. That being said, it is technically possible for you to resolve your expungement in a much shorter amount of time than you might expect.
Is it Worth Expediting My Expungement Process?
You might be wondering whether it is really necessary to speed up the expungement process. After all, it is going to happen eventually. Even with court delays and backlogs, you can feel that, at some point, your application will be approved. What do you stand to lose if you let your expungement application sit on someone’s desk for years on end? New Jersey has some laws restricting an employer’s right to ask you about your criminal record. But these laws are quite limited, and a potential employer can still run a criminal background check on you without much of an issue.
Ask yourself whether it makes sense to miss out on potential employment opportunities while you wait many years for your expungement to be approved. How much more money could you earn if your records were sealed – allowing you to pass criminal record checks and land higher-paying jobs? Keep in mind that working with a lawyer to expedite the expungement process is relatively affordable – costing only a small fraction of the money you stand to earn with a higher-paying job.
Who Can Help Me With My Expungement in New Jersey?
If you are searching for a qualified attorney who can help you with your expungement in New Jersey, look no further than the Law Office of Katherine O’Brien. With our assistance, you can deal with your expungement as quickly as possible. We have helped numerous individuals in New Jersey with their expungements in the past, and we are well aware of the various issues that you might encounter as you pursue this process. We will help you overcome these barriers as you strive for a quick resolution. Book your consultation today to get started with an action plan tailored to your unique needs.
Understanding the Expungement Process in New Jersey
Clearing one’s criminal record in New Jersey can offer a fresh start, but many residents remain uncertain about the duration and intricacies of the process. While the expungement process is pivotal for those wanting to put their past behind, it’s essential to grasp the timeline, especially in the face of recent marijuana conviction expungements.
Factors Affecting Expungement Timeline
Multiple variables play a part in determining the length of the expungement process. These include:
- The nature of the offense: Some offenses take longer due to legal complexities.
- Documentation availability: Accurate and comprehensive records can expedite the process.
- Legal changes: Amendments in New Jersey’s expungement law can either fast-track or slow down existing applications.
What does expungement mean in New Jersey?
Expungement in New Jersey means the removal and isolation of records on file within any court, detention, correctional facility, law enforcement, or criminal justice agency concerning a person’s arrest, detention, trial, or disposition of an offense.
Can all records be expunged in New Jersey?
No, not all records can be expunged. Some crimes, such as murder, kidnapping, or sexual assault, cannot be expunged. It’s best to consult an attorney for specifics.
What are the costs associated with the expungement process?
While fees can vary, typically there is a filing fee for the expungement process. Hiring an attorney might incur additional costs, but it can also streamline and expedite the process.
How does a criminal record affect job opportunities in New Jersey?
While some laws restrict employers from asking about criminal records, they can still conduct criminal background checks. A record can limit job opportunities, especially in sectors that require trust and security.
Are there any guarantees that my record will be expunged?
There are no guarantees. Each case is evaluated based on its merits, the nature of the conviction, and other factors. An experienced attorney can provide guidance and improve the chances of a successful expungement.
Embarking on the expungement journey can seem daunting, but with the right information and legal guidance, it’s a hurdle that can be surmounted. Taking proactive steps, understanding your specific situation, and leveraging legal expertise can considerably shorten the waiting time and pave the way for a brighter future.