A Morristown Expungement Lawyer Can Help You Move On
Once you’ve served your time and paid your fines, you want the physical reminder of your criminal record erased as well so that you can move on with your life. It’s easy enough for someone to search a person’s background, find a criminal record, and then deny an application for employment, housing, adoption, education, travel, credit cards, loans, and more. If you want to avoid having your criminal record cause problems for you long after you’ve changed your ways, you need to take action.
For most crimes, the basic option to prevent a criminal record from cropping up when people search for your past is to have your record expunged, but not all crimes can be expunged. If that’s the case, and you still would like to have your criminal record updated, you have a few options left to consider.
What Does an Expungement Do?
If you receive an expungement, your criminal record is removed from public record. With very few exceptions, nobody, including law enforcement officials, will be able to see the details of your criminal offense. Your criminal record will only show up if you apply for a job within the judicial system, law enforcement, or corrections, if you later apply for a diversionary program like Pretrial Intervention or Conditional Discharge, or if you should have dealings with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Once your record has been expunged, you are able to state that you have never been arrested or convicted of a crime on a job application, in court, or any other place where you would be required to provide that information. In New Jersey, you may also apply for a gun permit after your record has been expunged, unless the expungement order expressly prohibits this.
Other Options After an Arrest in Morristown
If you have committed a crime that disqualifies you for an expungement, or if your expungement request has been denied, you can try other ways to clear your record.
- Certificate of Rehabilitation (COR) – In New Jersey, you can apply for a certificate of rehabilitation, typically if your criminal conviction has resulted in your professional license being revoked. A COR states that you have achieved a level of rehabilitation, but it may not be sufficient to have your license restored, depending on your particular case. Usually, you must wait two full years after completing your sentence, or after your expungement application was denied, before applying for a COR. If you have a COR, you cannot apply for a firearms permit.
- Executive Pardon – Obtaining an executive pardon will reinstate your civil rights. These can only be granted by the governor, and there is no time limit that determines when you can seek an executive pardon. Additionally, no offenses are banned from qualifying for an executive pardon. The governor will evaluate your case, and the crime in question, to determine whether an executive pardon should be granted.
- Petition for Post-Conviction Relief – If your constitutional rights were violated during the proceedings that resulted in your conviction, the court in which you were convicted lacked jurisdiction, or the sentence that was imposed was excessive, you can file a petition before the court where you were convicted to request that your conviction be set aside and your matter reopened.
It can be extremely beneficial to explore your options for clearing your criminal record if you’ve been convicted of a crime. If you want to discuss your case and your options for expungement or other mechanisms for clearing your record, call Scott Gorman, a Morristown expungement attorney at The Gorman Law Firm, today. Our criminal defense offices are located in Morristown and Essex County.