Learn the Truth
About What an Expungement Will Do
Unlike other Law Firms we are going to tell you the simple hard truth before you make your decision about your expungement. Expungement of your criminal records as you will learn below may not work the way you think it will. It will not erase your record, only seal it to certain parties. But first let's determine if you qualify for an Expungement.
The 3 Basic Qualifications for an Expungement in NJ:
- You must wait the required amount of time as required by law to get the expungement (most cases 3 to 10 years) can be as short as 6 months
- It must be an offense which can be expunged (Note that many felonies, such as sexual assault or armed robberies, can't be expunged.)
- Your expungement must be approved by the court.
Assuming you meet the four qualifications in NJ for an expungement its likely your criminal record can be expunged. However for many people this expungement is not worth the paper its written on. Why? Because most employers, individuals and insurance companies today do not use the New Jersey or FBI record database to search for criminal records and instead use private databases. Note that many felonies, such as sexual assault or armed robberies, can't be expunged (please contact our office for the complete list)
Most employers and individuals use companies which independently search the public records through either search engines or private companies to find and track people who have been arrested and charged with criminal offfenses. Over 25 of these companies exist today charging employers and individuals from $5.00 to over $50.00 for a search. When you are arrested for a criminal offense your name, address and offense charge becomes a public record (the only exceptions are crimes committed by minors). Companies today use Internet criminal record checks as a way of saving money. This is simply the cheapest and quickest method to check a persons criminal background.
Remember court records are open to the public that is why you will hear about a celebrity being arrested the next day etc. Private companies all over the country collect criminal history and other personal information from these public court records. These companies store that information on their own computers and thus in most cases are not required by law to update these records to include your expungement.
In the normal course of things, no one informs these companies when a record is expunged. The courts do not even keep track of who has searched their records. Therefore the information that those companies previously stored can still be reported, not by the court, and not by New Jersey State Police or the FBI, but by these private companies. This exact situation was discussed in depth in an article in The New York Times on October 17, 2006 and the Wall Street Journal on November 11, 2009. Although these are old articles the law has not changed in regards to how private companies continue to keep their own records.
There is no complete solution to this problem thus with the rise of the Internet search engines it is the opinion of this office that at this time in most cases an expungement is useful only in limited situations here in New Jersey. We suggest that you save your money. But if you feel that you would still like to pursue an expungement of your NJ Criminal Charge you may call our office and set a consultation to meet with one our lawyers. Mention this website and we will discount your initial consultation with our office from the normal $250.00 fee to only $150.00 to discuss your expungement.