New Jersey Juvenile Expungement Lawyer
Expungement Attorney for Criminal and Juvenile Delinquency Records in New Jersey
In New Jersey, an expungement is a single chance to wipe the slate clean. It is an opportunity to start fresh by erasing an event or events in your past that led to an arrest, detention, trial, or other disposition in the legal system. If you were a juvenile or an adult when you were drawn into the juvenile justice system or adult criminal justice system, there are certain rules and regulations that apply to you when seeking an expungement. In order to ensure that you comply with all of these requirements, and that you are in the best position to have your expungement granted, it is highly advisable to have an experienced attorney executing each step in the process effectively.
Alissa Hascup is a highly experienced New Jersey expungement attorney who has successfully assisted thousands of juveniles and young adults in having their records expunged. With centralized offices conveniently located in Denville and Totowa, Alissa effectively executes the expungement process in Bergen, Passaic, Camden, Essex, Morris, and Middlesex counties. Whether you are a juvenile, college student, or young adult and you refuse to allow your past to define your future, Alissa will serve as your unwavering advocate through every phase of the expungement process. She is passionate about providing you with the best chance at reaching your goals. To discuss your current situation, potential eligibility, and next steps, contact her offices at 862-257-1200 for a cost-free initial consultation.
Expungements of Juvenile Records in New Jersey
What is an Expungement
First and foremost, it is important to understand the function of an expungement in New Jersey. According to the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts, an expungement is a petition that, if approved, will lead to the removal of all records related to a person’s apprehension, arrest, detention, trial or disposition of an offense within the criminal or juvenile justice system. If the expungement is ultimately approved, the adult arrest or juvenile being taken into custody; conviction or juvenile adjudication of delinquency; disposition and any corresponding proceedings, is deemed never to have occurred. This is extremely significant for young people as they move forward and seek educational, employment, and other opportunities. It is common for interested parties like potential employers and educational institutions to run background checks on their applicants. With an expungement, your background check will appear clean. You can also legally answer “no” to questions about whether or not you have even been arrested, adjudicated delinquent, or convicted of a crime.
Juvenile vs. Adult Expungements in New Jersey
Although juvenile and adult criminal cases are subject to the same expungement process, there are some key differences in terminology when discussing juvenile vs. adult cases. It is essential to use the appropriate terminology in your specific expungement petition, which your lawyer can handle for you. The following are important distinctions:
- An adult is “arrested,” while a juvenile is “taken into custody”
- An adult is “convicted,” while a juvenile is “adjudicated delinquent”
- An adult case is resolved with a “sentence,” while a juvenile case is resolved through a “disposition”
- An adult may be sentenced to “jail, prison or incarceration,” while a juvenile is detained at a “secure facility, youth house, detention center, or juvenile justice institution”
- An adult may use a diversion like the “Pretrial intervention program (PTI),” while a juvenile will use a diversion like the Juvenile Conference Committee or Intake Services Conference
Notably, you can include both juvenile and adult matters in a single expungement petition and, if granted, all matters will be expunged at the same time.
Time Frames for Juvenile Expungements in New Jersey
Expunging a Juvenile Arrest
If you are a juvenile taken into custody (the equivalent of an adult arrest), and the arrest did not result in any adjudication of delinquency, you can file an expungement petition to remove any record of the matter at any time. The expungement may be granted unless the acquittal, discharge or dismissal of charges were the result of a plea bargaining agreement involving other juvenile adjudications.
Expunging a Single Juvenile Offense Adjudication
Requirements for the expungement of a single adjudication are determined based on the nature of the offense and whether, if committed by an adult, it would constitute a felony, a disorderly or petty disorderly persons offense, or an ordinance violation. If the act would be considered a municipal ordinance violation if committed by an adult, an individual can apply for an expungement after two years, provided that the individuals has (a) not been convicted or adjudicated delinquent for any prior or subsequent act constituting a crime; and (b) not been convicted or adjudicated delinquent for more than two disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses.
If the act would be considered a disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense, an individual can apply for an expungement after five years, provided that the individual has not been (a) convicted or adjudicated delinquent for any prior or subsequent crime, or (b) convicted or adjudicated delinquent for another three disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses.
If the act would constitute a felony if committed by an adult, an individual can apply for an expungement after ten years, provided the individual (a) has not been adjudicated delinquent or convicted of any prior or subsequent crime, and (b) has not been adjudged a disorderly person or petty disorderly person on more than two occasions.
Expunging an Entire Juvenile Record
Any juvenile adjudicated delinquent may have his or her entire record of delinquency adjudications expunged if:
- Five years have passed since the final discharge, meaning the payment of fines, release from custody or supervision, whichever is latest; and
- You have not been adjudicated delinquent, subject to supervision, or convicted of a crime or disorderly persons offense during the five-year period
- You are not subject to a pending juvenile or criminal matter
- You were not adjudicated delinquent for one of the excluded offenses outlined in N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2
- You have never had an expungement before
* For juveniles who were adjudicated delinquent for drug crimes involving the possession or use of a controlled dangerous substance, that occurred while they were 21 or younger, they may be eligible for an expungement after only one year.
Contact a Passaic County NJ Juvenile Expungement Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you have questions about, or are seeking to have your juvenile or adult criminal record expunged in New Jersey, Alissa Hascup has helped thousands of people just like you. To discuss your circumstances, find out if you may be eligible for an expungement, and get the answers you need to move forward, contact her offices today at 862-257-1200 to receive your cost-free consultation.