NEW JERSEY EARLY PATHWAY EXPUNGEMENT
Somerset County Expungement Lawyer
In 2010, the New Jersey Legislature passed an amendment granting an “early pathway” to an expungement of a criminal offense. The law was changed in an effort to increase the success rate of ex-offender re-entry into society. Instead of waiting the mandatory 10 years to expunge a criminal conviction, an ex-offender may apply after 5 years if he or she can meet the burden of proof that an expungement is in the public interest. The law is still relatively new, and few interpretations exist. As a result, the courts must try to interpret and apply the law the way in which the legislature intended.
In The Matter of The Application for Expungement of the Criminal Records of Marino Lobasso, the New Jersey Appellate Division provides one of the first interpretations of the law. In determining the “public interest,” the court may review the following:
- The applicant’s character and conduct before and after the conviction;
- Any cognizable evidence related to an arrest that did not result in a conviction;
- Efforts to obtain employment or education;
- Whether the applicant has met other legal obligations, such as child support or traffic fines;
- Circumstances surrounding the offense;
- Related charges that were dismissed as a result of PTI or a plea bargain; and
- Whether the criminal record has affected the petitioner’s ability to lead a law-abiding, productive life.
Contact Maynard Law Office, LLC
It is well documented that successful offender re-entry improves the quality of life for the individual as well as the community. The disabilities inherited from a criminal record can affect an offender from obtaining employment, education, and housing. At the Morristown law firm of Maynard Law Office, LLC, we will construct an expungement petition containing proofs, such as employment records, character references, examples of community involvement, to give you the best possible chance of receiving relief under the “early pathway” amendment. To speak to a knowledgeable attorney, contact our law office at 973-540-0054 or email us. We offer free consultations and personalized payment plans.