Expungements are the legal actions of having an arrest or a conviction removed from an individuals public criminal record. In New Jersey, many relatively minor offenses such as marijuana possession, simple assault, and more may be eligible for expungement after a certain period of time. What is less common knowledge is that state law allows a wider range of drug related convictions to be expunged if the offender was less than 21 years old at the time. These regulations are aimed at allowing individuals who may have committed mistakes in their youth to move on with a clean slate.
Today, our criminal defense attorneys will discuss state laws allowing for expungements of underage drug offenses, a high level explanation of the expungement process, and why those who are eligible for expungement should seriously consider taking this option.
Plainfield, NJ Expungement Attorneys Seek Expungement for Underage Drug Crimes
Most expungements follow a standard practice of removing an arrest of conviction from an individuals record. However, N.J.S.A. 2C:52-5 – expungements of records of young drug offenders allows drug convictions to be expunged based on all of the following:
- The offender must have been 21 years old or younger at the time of the drug related criminal offense
- The offender may not have violated his or her parole or probation since the initial conviction
- The offender committed no additional drug crimes
- The original drug offense must been been either drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, or distribution of five (5) grams or less of hashish or 25 grams or less of marijuana
If you or a loved one believe you may be eligible for expungement as per this special law, you may want to contact a Plainfield criminal defense attorney. A qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney should be able to assist you with the expungement process, as will be detailed below.
Expunging Criminal Records in Union County
A Union County expungement for an underage drug offense may look something like this:
- Our Union County expungement attorney will send written notice to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies notifying them that we intend to have your underage drug conviction expunged
- A formal legal petition is filed with the New Jersey Superior Court to have your drug conviction removed from your public record
- A Superior Court judge will review your case, your legal petition, and rule on whether or not your expungement request is legal. In most cases, this process is successful so long as the legal process has been completed correctly
- Our legal team will receive notice of your successful expungement via written correspondence from the NJ Courts. At this point, we will send a second notice to law enforcement such as the FBI, local police, state police, Attorney General’s office and more to let them know that your conviction is to be expunged
It is important to understand that the legal record of your arrest and your conviction will remain on file at law enforcement agency offices, but they will no longer be public information. Background checks for future employment, loans, purchasing a home, insurance, and much more will show as clean once your expungement has been processed.
Have an Arrest or Criminal Conviction on your Record? Contact our Linden Criminal Defense Attorneys Today
Criminal defense attorney Edward Cooper has extensive experience protecting the legal rights of clients from Union County towns across Linden, Scotch Plains, Westfield, Union, Elizabeth, Plainfield, and all of Northern New Jersey. We are proud to help our clients expunge previous indiscretions from their public criminal record so they can move on with their lives and seek a better future. Attorney Cooper understands the expungement process in New Jersey and will pursue all angles to give our clients a second chance.
For more information about your legal standing and potential expungement of an underage drug crime, please contact us online or call our Linden, NJ offices today at (908) 481-4625 for a free and confidential consultation.