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Can my petition for expungement in NJ be denied?

If you have a minor criminal conviction, ordinance violation, or arrest, on your record, it can be holding you back from things you want to do and accomplish in your life. If that is the case, then an expungement could get rid of it. But if you apply for one, can it be denied?

Yes, it can, under certain circumstances. It can, and will, be denied, when:

  1. Any prerequisite for expungement has not been met;
  2. There is an objection to the petition where the objector proves that the need for the availability of the criminal records outweighs the desirability of your being freed from the "black mark" of the charge or conviction;
  3. Where it is an arrest not resulting in conviction, where the acquittal, discharge, or dismissal of the charges were as a result of a plea bargain involving a conviction on other charges (unless the conviction itself has been expunged);
  4. Where the arrest or conviction is associated with a civil suit brought against you by the state or any of its agencies;
  5. Where you have had a previous criminal conviction expunged, unless you are seeking expungement of an ordinance violation or an arrest not resulting in a conviction; or
  6. You have had, prior or subsequent to the conviction, been granted the dismissal of other criminal charges following the completion of a supervisory treatment or other diversion program.

This is why I tell people that it could help you, not that it can. Each case is different, and needs to be evaluated for success.

Petitions for expungement can be very helpful, but they are not something you should try on your own. If you live in southern New Jersey, and are looking to "clean up your act" and get the skeletons out of your closet, please feel free to call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site for a free consultation in my Woodbury office to discuss your options.

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Steven J. Richardson
Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.