Why are NJ Expungements Denied?
In general, there are two scenarios in which your NJ expungement can be denied:
- You are not eligible – See Eligibility Check
- An Agency objects to your petition
Denial based on ineligibility
Prior Convictions. In order for an expungement petition to be eligible, a number of requirements must be met. One significant requirement is that an individual must not have too many prior convictions. Although there is no limit to the number of times a petition for an expungement can be made, courts consider eligibility by taking into account all past crimes.
Pending Cases. In addition to past criminal history, courts also consider any pending criminal charges. Most courts will find an individual ineligible for an expungement if he/she has pending criminal charges.
Waiting Period. One other significant requirement is completing the waiting period. The waiting period begins from the date the judge enforces the sentence, the date you pay all of the fines, or the date you complete parole, probation, or jail sentence, whichever comes last. The court may relax the waiting period for payment of all fines if it finds that the payments were being made in full and on schedule. The waiting time varies depending on the nature of the conviction; the general times are as follows:
- Felony crime 10 years
- Misdemeanor 5 years
- Juvenile Adjudication 5 years, or adult equivalent
- Municipal Ordinance 2 years
- Young Drug Offender 1 year
- Diversion program 6 months
- Dismissal No waiting period
If you are ineligible for a New Jersey expungement, it’s probably not a good idea to apply because your petition will get rejected. However, if you’re ineligible due to the waiting time requirement, you could prepare your paperwork now and apply later when you become eligible. This will save you time and ensure you get your record cleared ASAP. To quickly find out if you’re eligible, use our free NJ expungement eligibility test.
Denial based on objection
Even after meeting all of the eligibility requirements, your expungement petition might be denied if someone, most likely the prosecutor, objects to the petition. A number of reasons may influence this decision including:
- the expungement not being in the public’s best interest,
- the crime attempting to be expunged was too dangerous, or
- behavior after the crime does not show rehabilitation.