Table of Contents
- Why Seek Expungement of Passaic County Criminal Records?
- Clean Your Slate of Criminal Arrest or Conviction in Passaic County
- Do I Qualify to Have My Passaic County Criminal Records Expunged?
- We’ll Do the Work Required to Petition for Expungement in Passaic County
- Ready to Expunge Your Passaic County Criminal Records and Move On?
Expungement of Passaic County Criminal Records
At the Law Offices of John F. Marshall, we see people at their most human and fallible. If you have a mistake in your past for which you’ve paid your debt to society, or an arrest that ultimately amounted to nothing, you can seek to have your Passaic County criminal record expunged. We’re ready to help you do it.
Under New Jersey law, an order of expungement means that whatever arrest or conviction in your past is removed from public records access. It’s as if whatever charge was on your record never happened—a clean slate.
If your criminal record in Passaic County is expunged, prior arrests and charges do not appear in background checks unless you apply for a job in law enforcement, corrections, or the New Jersey judicial branch. For many, this is the ultimate second chance, as it allows them legally to answer “no” on a job or loan application about having any prior arrests or criminal convictions.
If you live in Paterson, Bloomingdale, Passaic, Wayne, West Milford, Haledon, Little Falls, Hawthorne, Totowa, or another Passaic County municipality, the Law Offices of John F. Marshall can determine your eligibility to seek an order of expungement and assist you with the complex process this involves.
Obtaining an expungement involves completing and submitting multiple forms to the municipal or superior court in the county where your arrest or prosecution took place. If a judge is convinced to grant your petition for expungement, you then must distribute the order to several organizations, such as law enforcement, for it to be recorded correctly.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with us today by contacting us online or by calling our Wayne office. Our legal team at the Law Offices of John F. Marshall draws upon more than 100 years of combined experience as public defenders and prosecutors, and we’re glad to discuss how we can help you move toward a brighter future.
Why Seek Expungement of Passaic County Criminal Records?
Even before the digital age, anyone arrested and charged with a crime accumulated a public record attached to their identity, complete with details of any convictions, fines, or time in prison. Even if a person was found not guilty or the charges were dropped, anyone could review this record during a background check.
Nowadays, prospective employers, mortgage companies, schools, and even private individuals can conduct criminal background checks online and review the events in your past. If you have an arrest — whatever the outcome — this prior criminal record can hang over you like a dark cloud.
A record of an arrest or conviction can keep you from obtaining:
- Employment (even with New Jersey’s “ban the box” Opportunity to Compete Act, which limits such inquiries)
- Bank loans and credit cards
- Rent-subsidized housing and other social services
- Private educational scholarships
- Federal student loans
- A New Jersey firearm permit
However, New Jersey legislators have provided an opportunity in the expungement process for people who have been arrested or convicted but have turned their lives around. At the Law Offices of John F. Marshall, we’re proud to help people seeking expungement of a Passaic County criminal record take advantage of that opportunity.
Clean Your Slate of Criminal Arrest or Conviction in Passaic County
Under an expungement of criminal records in New Jersey, any record of your name regarding an offense within the criminal justice system effectively vanishes (except, as we mentioned earlier, if you’re pursuing a career in this field). This removes from any law enforcement or criminal justice agency, court, and detention or correctional facility (such as a jail or prison) any record of the following:
- Photographs (mug shots)
- Processing records
- Commitment orders
- “Rap sheets”
- Index cards
- Judicial docket records
Once a judge grants an order for expungement, all records of any detection, detention, arrest, apprehension, trial or disposition of an offense within the New Jersey adult or juvenile criminal justice systems are extracted and isolated from public access. It’s as if whatever happened never happened as far as the State of New Jersey is concerned.
Do I Qualify to Have My Passaic County Criminal Records Expunged?
Expungement of Passaic County criminal records is a powerful tool, but it is not automatic. You must qualify, and you must make a formal request to a judge to have your record expunged.
The law is aimed at clearing the records of those who were never found guilty or who have learned from their misdeeds. The state also allows people to petition for expungement of certain criminal records after a specified amount time, provided all fines are paid and a person has been satisfactorily released from incarceration and completed any probation or parole. You also must not face any pending criminal charges.
Some people cannot have their records expunged. If you have been convicted of more than one indictable offense, such as aggravated assault, burglary, robbery, credit card fraud, or possession and distribution of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), that record stays with you.
Your record also cannot be expunged if you have been found guilty of a disorderly person or petty disorderly person municipal ordinance such as simple assault, shoplifting, resisting arrest, lewdness, or possessing drug paraphernalia more than twice.
If you’ve been convicted of possession, sale or distribution of illicit drugs, your record cannot be expunged unless the charge was for 25 grams or less of marijuana or 5 grams or less of hashish — or the charge was otherwise a minor offense (a third-degree or fourth-degree charge).
Records of certain serious crimes cannot be expunged, including:
- Producing or possessing biological agents, chemical weapons, or nuclear or radiological devices
- Rape and other sexual offenses
- Manufacturing or selling child pornography
- Embracery (attempting to influence a juror)
Other records that cannot be expunged include:
- Motor vehicle offenses, including DWI convictions,
- Crimes connected to service in elective or appointed public office
- Civil orders
We’ll Do the Work Required to Petition for Expungement in Passaic County
If you have questions about whether you meet the requirements to petition for expungement in Passaic County, the Law Offices of John F. Marshall can assist you — and possibly sooner than you realize.
If your charges meet the specifications for expungement, you can petition to have your record expunged:
- Immediately for charges that were dropped
- 6 months after completing a pre-trial diversionary program (PTI) after charges were dropped
- 2 years after completing sentencing for violating a municipal ordinance
- 5 years after completing sentencing for a conviction in an indictable offense
- 5 years after completing sentencing for a crime committed as a juvenile
Let our skilled expungement attorneys and staff handle the records search and paperwork this process requires for you. It’s possible to seek an expungement yourself, but it can be a complex and time-consuming process that involves tracking down arrest dates, statutes, original docket and complaint numbers, disposition dates, and the specific punishment, if any.
The New Jersey Courts guide to expungement suggests obtaining a lawyer for this process. It also notes that “even though your records may be eligible for expungement, if you miss any of the required steps, your Petition for Expungement may be denied. In that case, you will have to start over.”
Granting a petition for expungement is up to a judge. If your petition hits any snags or is denied, we also can work with you to determine why and what your next steps could be.
Ready to Expunge Your Passaic County Criminal Records and Move On?
Don’t let a past mistake or arrest that went nowhere continue to haunt you. The Law Offices of John F. Marshall handles expungement petitions in Passaic County and throughout New Jersey. We have the knowledge and resources you need.
Visit us at our Wayne office at 73 Mountainview Blvd. today, contact us online, or call us at to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.