People looking to wipe out their criminal record are trying to get a fresh start in life by not being weighed down by some bad decisions made in their youth. They may need it to get a job (or a better job), and their economic situation is such that they really can't wait.

So how long can expungement takes to process through can be very important.

How Long to Get an Expungement? It Depends!

The problem is, there is no set standard time frame. How long it takes can depend on your situation and how involved your petition for expungement is. Are you trying to wipe out a conviction on a single local ordinance violation or is it a mixed bag of local ordinances, arrests, disorderly person's offenses and crimes?

Each of these types requires a different waiting period, and there can be limitations on how many of any one type can be expunged. Each of these types involves research into different databases to gather the detailed information on each conviction or arrest that is needed to be set forth in the petition.

Thus the time involved in getting an expungement can be divided into two parts: the time needed to prepare the petition and the time needed to process the expungement petition once it is filed. Thus that expungement of a single local ordinance conviction would take a lot less time to research, prepare and file the petition, and process through.

How Long Can It Be?

I recently handled a fairly straightforward expungement for a client. It was filed on July 16, and the order for expungement was entered on September 16, two months later. The prosecutor had no objection to the petition, so it went through on the first court date. However, the preparation process was protracted because certain necessary information needed for the court paperwork was difficult to find.

Had there been a more involved list of convictions in the petition, and objections by various parties that needed to be resolved, the case would have taken longer to get to resolution.

The courts are trying to streamline and simplify the process of getting expungements, especially for minor drug offenses, but I would count on it taking 2 to 3 months to process the petition once it is filed. As to the length of the preparation process, having all of the information together for your attorney to prepare the paperwork would help move things forward faster.

Best to Get Your Expungement Started Now!

No matter what, if you need to get an expungement, the sooner you start the better. Get together the information you will need and call a lawyer.

If you are looking to expunge some arrests and/or convictions in your past that occurred in the Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem or Cumberland County, area, have decided that you need an expungement and are ready to take action, then click on this link to schedule a call with me. Don’t let your past hold you back from a better future!

If you are not sure you are ready to hire a lawyer, but want more information, then download my free book, What Everyone Should Know About Getting a NJ Expungement to get the answers you're looking for!

Want to see if you are even eligible for an expungement? Take the quiz to the right and see!

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