Fast track expungements for certain crimes can be great, in that you only have to wait five years to apply, rather than 10. You basically have to prove three points:

  • Five years has gone by since you completed your prison sentence and or parole
  • You have had no additional conventions since then
  • And the court finds that an expungement of your crime is in the public interest.

But what information are you going to need to gather to insure the best chance of getting one and proving all of these three elements?

Thje first two are fairly straightforward, and information on how to get the necessary records can be found here. But . . . 

What Do I Need to Prove Expungement is in the Public Interest?

What can be difficult is proving that your expungement is in the public interest. That's a bit of a hazy concept that can be hard to nail down.  Luckily, that burden is only preponderance of the evidence; you do not have to prove it be on a reasonable doubt, nor does the evidence have to be clear and convincing.

You will need to gather together the following for your attorney:

  • Information on employment
  • Any advancement in your employment
  • Letters on character from third parties
  • Affidavits from people that have known you for a long time and can attest to your character.
  • Letters from people who know about the conviction but that can state it doesn't change their opinion of you. This one is very key, I can make sure that the other information has an impact on the judge.

Is That All?

But wait, there's more! What other facts are important?

  • Are you married?
  • Are you employed?
  • Have you found all your tax returns?
  • Are you a religious person?
  • Do you own property?
  • Do you have children?
  • If you owe child support, have you been paying?

As to the nature of the offense that you're trying to expunge and its seriousness, you should be ready to provide undisputed or proven facts about the crime in its commission, including basic information about the crime itself, its grade in the criminal code (1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degree), and the elements of the offense. Judges may also consider details about what you did, how and with whom you acted, and any harm you may have caused in connection with the effects, so be prepared to address that as well.

As to the seriousness of drug crimes, the court may consider:

  • How many times you distributed drugs
  • Whether you distributed to children
  • Whether a weapon was involved or
  • Other relevant facts not disputed or which of been proven.

Other public interest considerations can include related charges that have been dismissed if the underlying facts up and substantiated or under spirit.

Don't Try to Do This Yourself!

A fast track expungement is faster, but it isn't something you should try to do yourself. Courts scrutinize the public interest angle, and prosecutors are more likely to object. You need an advocate in your corner to make sure all of the proper steps are taken!

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.