N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2

New Jersey law dictates specific circumstances that must exist in order for a person with a criminal record to be considered eligible to petition for expungement of a felony, or indictable offense, from that person’s criminal record. See if you’re eligible. The requirements set by statute include certain applicable waiting periods and limitations regarding the type and number of other offenses on the person’s criminal record. Additionally, some offenses are defined as non-expungeable, and can never be expunged from a criminal record under New Jersey law.

Waiting Period

N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(a) establishes a ten (10) year waiting period before an offender becomes eligible to seek expungement of a conviction for an indictable offense. This waiting period begins not only after the offender’s conviction date, but not until the offender has also paid all fines, completed any required parole or probation time, and finished serving any mandated jail sentence. However, Courts in New Jersey do also have some discretion to reduce this waiting period to five (5) years, under the terms of N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(a)(2), if it appears that allowing the expungement after 5 years would be “in the public interest”.

Limitations on Expungement

In order to be eligible for expungement of a criminal indictable offense, or felony, under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(a), an offender must not have any other prior or subsequent felony offense, or any more than two (2) disorderly persons offenses, on his or her record. For purposes of this requirement, convictions outside of New Jersey can also bar expungement of a criminal offense from your record.

Non-Expungeable Crimes

N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(b) and N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(c) make certain types of criminal offenses ineligible for expungement in New Jersey. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(b), non-expungeable offenses include:

murder, manslaughter, treason, anarchy, kidnapping, rape, forcible sodomy, arson, perjury, false swearing, robbery, embracery, or a conspiracy or any attempt to commit any of the foregoing, or aiding, assisting or concealing persons accused of the foregoing crimes.

N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(b) further classifies the following crimes as additional non-expungeable offenses:

N.J.S.2C:11-1 et seq. (Criminal Homicide), except death by auto as specified in N.J.S.2C:11-5; N.J.S. 2C:13-1 (Kidnapping); section 1 of P.L.1993, c.291 (C.2C:13-6) (Luring or Enticing); section 1 of P.L.2005, c.77 (C.2C:13-8) (Human Trafficking); N.J.S.2C:14-2 (Sexual Assault or Aggravated Sexual Assault); N.J.S.2C:14-3a (Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact); if the victim is a minor, N.J.S.2C:14-3b (Criminal Sexual Contact); if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim, N.J.S.2C:13-2 (Criminal Restraint) or N.J.S.2C:13-3 (False Imprisonment); N.J.S.2C:15-1 (Robbery); N.J.S.2C:17-1 (Arson and Related Offenses); N.J.S.2C:24-4a. (Endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child); N.J.S.2C:24-4b(4) (Endangering the welfare of a child); N.J.S.2C:24-4b. (3) (Causing or permitting a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act); N.J.S.2C:24-4b.(5)(a) (Distributing, possessing with intent to distribute or using a file-sharing program to store items depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child); N.J.S.2C:24-4b.(5)(b) (Possessing items depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child); N.J.S.2C:28-1 (Perjury); N.J.S.2C:28-2 (False Swearing); N.J.S.2C:34-1b.(4) (Knowingly promoting the prostitution of the actor’s child); section 2 of P.L.2002, c.26 (C.2C:38-2) (Terrorism); subsection a. of section 3 of P.L.2002, c.26 (C.2C:38-3) (Producing or Possessing Chemical Weapons, Biological Agents or Nuclear or Radiological Devices); and conspiracies or attempts to commit such crimes.

Additionally, N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(b) bars expungement of any convictions based on a crime or conspiracy to commit a crime, when committed by someone holding public office or employment.

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(c), another category of non-expungeable offenses includes any conviction for selling or distributing, a controlled dangerous substance, or possession of such a substance with intent to sell. However, this section of the statute does allow a few exceptions, so that records of a conviction may be expunged when the crime in question involves one of the following substances:

(1) Marijuana, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was 25 grams or less;

(2) Hashish, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was five grams or less; or

(3) Any controlled dangerous substance provided that the conviction is of the third or fourth degree, where the court finds that expungement is consistent with the public interest, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense and the petitioner’s character and conduct since conviction.

New Jersey Expungement Attorneys

Our seasoned expungement attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have decades of experience petitioning New Jersey courts for the expungement of a wide variety of types of criminal records. We understand the importance of this process in terms of moving on with your life and ensuring that your future is not affected by your old conviction. If you need assistance with an expungement, call us at 1-877-450-8301 any time for a free consultation.