During his annual State of the Judiciary address, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman recently proposed new criminal expungement measures to prevent citizens from being penalized forever for one mistake. During his annual State of the Judiciary address, Chief Judge Lippman advocates allowing convicted criminals to wipe their records clean as long as they avoid an arrest in the future.
An expungement is the removal of any record of an offense that you were charged with or convicted of in New Jersey, New York or any other jurisdiction.
Details of the Expungement Proposal
Under Chief Judge Lippman’s proposal , most people convicted of misdemeanors would be able to petition for their crime to be sealed as long as they avoid arrest for seven years. Felons who committed non-violent crimes would have an opportunity to petition for expungement of the offense if they maintain a clean record for 10 years and had no prior felony convictions. The proposition excludes those convicted of alcohol-related driving offenses, political corruption and sex crimes.
Chief Judge Lippman’s Loophole
The recent proposal provides that a job applicant convicted of drug trafficking, securities violations or embezzlement may be hired for a position managing a business’ accounting books without the boss knowing anything. Nevertheless, Chief Judge Lippman does not foresee political roadblocks for the legislature to enact his proposal into law.
Compared to Other Jurisdictions
While expungement is being proposed in New York, other jurisdictions already allow some criminals to wipe their records clean. Current New Jersey criminal law allows a person who committed only one indictable offense to petition for expungement. Similar to the Chief Judge’s Lippman’s proposal, expungement cannot be sought in New Jersey for sexual crimes and violent offenses. It should be noted that drug crimes, burglary, shoplifting and traffic offenses may be included in petitions for expungement. The waiting period varies significantly for different crimes so it is important to engage an effective New Jersey criminal lawyer when petitioning for expungement.
Serving Clifton, Passaic, and all of New Jersey
If you or a loved one discovers that an old conviction continues to hurt your ability to secure employment or enroll in vocational programs, contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer. To speak to an attorney of Rosenblum Law free of charge, call 1-888-815-3649.