Am I Eligible for a New Jersey Expungement?


Before you apply for expungement in the State of New Jersey, you must first determine if you are eligible for expungement. Chapter 52 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice specifies the types of offenses that are expungeable and the requirements that you must satisfy to obtain a court’s order granting expungement. In New Jersey, a petitioner may expunge certain types of statutorily approved indictable offenses (crimes), convictions of disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly person offenses, violations of municipal ordinances, and arrests not resulting in convictions. However, multiple convictions may prevent certain offenses from being expungeable.

In New Jersey, there are several statutory and judicial grounds for denying an expungement. Below is a list of several grounds for denying an expungement.

1.   You are NOT eligible due to:

   a.      a prior or subsequent conviction;

   b.     type of conviction or seriousness of the crime;

           (Is it drug, theft, or motor-vehicle related? Crime not subject to expungement under Chapter 52?)

   c.     pending case

           (civil litigation involving the State or a criminal action.)

   d.     a previous expungement;

   e.     having more than the allowable number of convictions;

   f.     dismissed charges in a plea bargain;

   g.     court records indicating that the case is still open;

   h.     dismissal of charges after a supervisory treatment or similar program, with certain exceptions;

   i.     a failure to satisfy the waiting period requirement;

   j.     unpaid fines or court assessments; or

   k.     charges being dismissed against you because you were found not guilty by reason of insanity.

2.   The prosecutor or a government agency objects to your petition and is successful at convincing the court that granting your expungement is not in the best interest of the public.

The court may deny expungement if the state proves “[t]he need for the availability of records” outweighs the “desirability of having a person freed from any disabilities” arising from the conviction.

3.   There was an inaccuracy in the court file.

4.   Your application for expungement was not completed or submitted correctly.

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