An expungement petition is a detailed document that sets forth everything in your criminal history to date. Leaving anything out could lead to an objection by the government and a delay in your getting relief. It is better that you have all of your information together first before seeing a lawyer. But what information do you need and where do you go to find it?

Records You Will Need for the Expungement

In order to prepare your expungement petition, you will need to gather the following information:

  • The date of your arrest or complaint, or date you were taken into custody;
  • The statute(s) and the offense(s) for which you were arrested and convicted (note that, if the offenses were reduced from the original charges, these will be different);
  • The original indictment, summons(es), or complaint(s)/reference number(s);
  • The date of the conviction or the date the charges were dismissed if you were found not guilty (also called “date of disposition”); and
  • The court’s disposition of the matter and the specific punishment imposed, if any, including the dates any fines were paid and when you completed probation or parole, if any imposed.

Having this at the ready when you meet with a lawyer will make things go much more smoothly for you.

How to Locate the Records

Okay, that’s the information you need, but how do you find it? The easiest way would be if you had a lawyer that represented you for the charges. He or she may well have it in your case file. If you didn’t have a lawyer or cannot locate him, there are some other places you could go.

  • For indictable convictions and arrests, contact the Criminal Case Management Office for the county in which the charges were handled. You might also contact the prosecutor’s office and ask to see your file. Look for a Judgment of Conviction. Take a form of ID, like a driver’s license or a passport.
  • For juvenile matters, contact the Family Court for that county.
  • For disorderly persons offenses and local ordinances, contact the clerk of the municipal court in which you were prosecuted or the police department involved in your arrest. Look for the Disposition Record.

Another source is the New Jersey State Police. You can request a copy of your criminal record from them. Just click here for their database. Bear in mind that the State Police will only have a rap sheet if you were fingerprinted when you were arrested. 

These resources can also be obtained online. Information on indictable convictions can be found on the Promis Gavel Criminal Records Database, while disorderly persons offenses and municipal ordinance violations at Municipal Courts Case Search.

I Can Help!

As I said, an expungement petition is a detailed document, and it is easy to make a mistake and leave things out. Although it is something you could do yourself, it isn't always a good idea. Doing it incorrectly could lead to months of frustration and delays in getting you the relief you need.

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.