Can DUI Be Expunged in New Jersey?

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Having a criminal record can be devastating. This is because a criminal record can negatively affect your life in a number of ways. A criminal record may affect your ability to obtain a mortgage and insurance coverage and impact your employment. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), whether for drugs or alcohol, you need to select a competent New Jersey DUI Lawyer to handle your case. However, if beating the criminal charge is impossible, a conviction will most definitely complicate your life from here on out.

If you have been convicted of a DUI, the penalties that are imposed will depend on certain factors, including your prior criminal record and whether or not there were injuries or fatalities in your case. Being a repeat offender or injuring someone while intoxicated could lead to more serious charges and harsher penalties.

What Can You Do?

If you have been convicted of any crime in the state of New Jersey and your criminal record has prevented you from moving forward, there is a way to make this record disappear. This is called expungement.  However, only certain crimes can be expunged in New Jersey.

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Generally, to qualify for an expungement, you must meet certain requirements. If you are considering expungement, it’s best to seek help from an DWI attorney who has experience helping clients clear their criminal records.

What Is An Expungement?

An expungement will remove certain crimes from a convicted offender’s criminal record. An ex-convict who applies for an expungement, if granted, will enjoy the removal of any and all records relating to their arrest and conviction.

According to the state, expungement guarantees that all information relating to the “arrest, conviction and any proceedings related thereto shall be deemed not to have occurred, and the petitioner may answer any questions relating to their occurrence accordingly”. This means the petitioner does not have to admit to being convicted of a crime when asked by future employers or other parties as long as the conviction has been expunged.

How To Get An Expungement in New Jersey

The first step to expunging a record is filing a petition. Once the petition has been filed, a judge will be required to review it and decide on the next course of action. The judge will schedule a hearing within 60 days of receiving the petition. During this hearing, the judge will hear arguments to determine whether or not the expungement request should be granted. If the judge sides with the petitioner, they will approve the expungement request.

Who is Eligible For Expungement?

Many people who have been arrested and convicted for several criminal charges look forward to getting an expungement. However, not everyone is eligible for expungement, which gives people a fresh start without a criminal record.

To be eligible for an expungement, felons must meet certain requirements. For example, they must wait for a period of six years before qualifying for expungement.

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Some felons who have stayed out of trouble and demonstrated good character may qualify for expungement after five years.

There are different expungement eligibility requirements for felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile crimes.

Here are some of the special conditions that must be met to expunge certain crimes in New Jersey:

–   Juvenile Crimes Expungement: In most cases, entire juvenile records can be expunged after a three year waiting period. However, if you were charged with an indictable offense as a juvenile, you must meet the requirements to expunge an adult indictable offense.

–  Sex Crimes Expungement: Persons who have been convicted for rape, sexual assault or related offenses involving minors are not eligible for expungement.

–   Violent crimes: Violent crimes like arson, murder, kidnapping, or others cannot be expunged.

–   DUI/DWI expungement: DUI or DWI convictions cannot be expunged.

–  Drug Crimes Expungement: Most drug sale, distribution, and possession with the intent to sell crimes are not eligible for expungement. However, there are several exceptions to this rule.

–  Human Trafficking: This crime is not eligible for expungement.

Can a DUI be Expunged in New Jersey?

A DUI case cannot be expunged in this state. However, the crime will be removed from your record after a period of 10 years. DUI cannot be expunged because it is classified as a traffic offense rather than a criminal offense in New Jersey. 

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