Frequently Asked Questions About Expungement

What is an expungement?

An expungement is the extraction and isolation of records concerning a person's involvement with the criminal justice system. Expunged records include complaints, warrants, arrests, fingerprints, photographs, and "rap sheets" just to name a few.

What does an expungement do?

An expungement will allow you to answer "no" when asked if you have a criminal record, except in very limited circumstances, and will prevent such a record from being made public.

How can an expungement benefit me?

In this difficult economy, securing employment can be challenging. Individuals need every competitive advantage, including a clean criminal record. An expungement may provide such a benefit. In some cases, an expungement may be able to assist with your ability to obtain restoration of a professional/occupational license or certificate that was revoked in connection with the expunged crime.

Additionally, an expungement may be of assistance with college admissions. The common application used by hundreds of colleges specifically asks about criminal records. An applicant may answer "no" to the question if the records have been expunged.

If you have a criminal record, you will be precluded for applying for a gun license. While an expungement cannot guarantee that you would get approved for a gun, it will remove the automatic barrier that a criminal record creates and allow you to make the application for a gun permit.

Do I still need an expungement if my charge was dismissed?

Yes, even though a charge may not have resulted in a conviction, the charge may still remain on record.

Which offenses may be expungement?

A. Indictable Crimes (called Felonies in some other states):

Many, but not all, indictable crimes may be expunged after ten years from the date of conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later, provided that you have no convictions for any other indictable crime and no more than two disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons convictions. In some cases, a crime may be expunged after only five years.

B. Disorderly and Petty Disorderly Persons Offense (called Misdemeanors in some other states):

You may expunge a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense after five years, provided that you have no convictions for any indictable crime and no more than two additional disorderly or petty disorderly persons convictions. In some cases, a disorderly or petty disorderly persons charge may be expunged after only three years.

C. Municipal Ordinances:

Any town, village, borough, city or other municipal ordinance may be expunged after two years, provided that you have no convictions for any indictable crime and no more than two disorderly or petty disorderly persons convictions.

Consult with Nina C. Remson, an experienced attorney, who can advise whether you are eligible for an expungement of your criminal record.

Why would I need to expunge my juvenile record if it is already sealed?

Contrary to popular belief, not all juvenile records are automatically sealed and these records could still be accessed by the public in certain situations.

Is there anyone who could still access my expunged records?

In certain limited circumstances, expunged records may still be accessed by the courts and/or law enforcement agencies. For example, the court could access expunged records for sentencing purposes if you are convicted of an offense after your expungement.

Will an expungement remove my records from the internet?

Unfortunately, an expungement will not remove expunged records from the internet or social media. There may be other resources for such removal. However, if the information concerning your criminal record is not already on the web, an expungement will prevent it from being lawfully released by any government agency and will keep it off the internet and police blotters.

Can motor vehicle records and domestic violence restraining orders be expunged?

Only criminal records may be expunged. Motor vehicle offenses and domestic violence restraining orders may not be expunged.

How do I obtain an expungement?

It is highly recommended that you hire an experienced attorney to assist you to prepare and file the expungement petition and usher the matter to conclusion in order to achieve the desired outcome and avoid unnecessary delays, dismissal of the petition or denial of your application. Often expungement petitions are considered by the court with no hearing and no appearance required by the petitioner or counsel. Once the expungement process has been completed, you would be able to lawfully and truthfully advise that you have "no criminal record."

Why would an expungement petition be denied?

An expungement may be denied for any number of statutory reasons, including the nature of offense, the number of offenses, the waiting period having not yet elapsed, or other prohibitions detailed in the statute. For this reason, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced expungement lawyer like Nina C. Remson.

How long does it take to get an expungement?

When the petition is filed, the court will sign an Order for a Hearing, which will be scheduled in approximately 90 days. On or around that date, the court will sign the Final Order of Expungment, provided there are no objections to the petition. The Order will be sent to the party or their attorney for service. Once the State Police has received service of the Final Order of Expungement, the expunged records will be segregated from public records and a notice will be generated by the State Police that the expungement process has been completed. Typically, it takes a few months for the State Police to process the expungement and send the notice. So, an expungment could take six months or more. If you anticipate going back to school, applying for work or a gun permit or any other reason that you would want a clean record, don't wait. CALL NINA C. REMSON TODAY FOR A FREE CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION.

Nina C. Remson, Esq. has been practicing law 1991, the majority of which have been spent concentrating in criminal defense. Ms. Remson has successfully handled many expungement petitions and is well-versed in such matters.

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