Expungements of Municipal Court Violations

There are two types of Municipal Court offenses that can be expunged, disorderly persons offenses and municipal ordinances. Disorderly Persons (DP) is New Jersey’s equivalent to a misdemeanor. It is a minor violation in that it is not a criminal conviction, but it does create a permanent entry on a criminal record, even if it’s only an arrest.

Municipal Ordinances are rules, regulations, and codes which are enacted by the local township governing body. They cover building standards and quality of life standards like noise and disruptive behavior. Violation of these ordinances is neither a felony, nor a disorderly person’s violation. Often, a disorderly person’s offense is reduced to an ordinance violation. As such, there would be an arrest for the DP and a conviction for the ordinance that would need to be expunged.

While not criminal, many disorderly person’s offenses could cause you trouble in obtaining employment, especially if you are a teacher. Disorderly person’s offenses can cause you immigration consequences if you not a United States citizen. Further, disorderly persons offenses could affect your ability to obtain, or keep, a New Jersey Fire Arms I.D. Card.

How Many Offenses Can You Expunge?

 If you have not committed any crimes that makes you ineligible, then you may now expunge any number of crimes and disorderly persons charges. There is a waiting period to expunge your record, and the length of time depends on the number and  nature of the charges you seek to have expunged.

  • Any Number of Ordinance Violations: If you qualify for expungement, then you may expunge any number or municipal or borough ordinances. If you do not have any felony or disorderly person’s offenses, then you must wait two-years to have these offenses removed.
  • Disorderly Persons Offenses:If you have four or less disorderly person’s convictions, with no criminal convictions, then you may apply for an expungement after four years have passed since you completed probation or a custodial sentence. If you have one felony conviction, then you may expunge up to three disorderly persons offenses along with any ordinances within five years of completing your sentence. If you have more than one felony or more than four disorderly persons, then must apply for the “clean slate expungement.
  • Arrests, Conditional Dismissals, and Conditional Discharges:In addition to convictions, you may expunge an unlimited number of arrests, as long as they did not result in convictions. You may also expunge the arrest for any violation that resulted in asuccessful Conditional Discharge for drugs or a Conditional Dismissal for any other disorderly person’s arrest.
  • “Clean Slate” ExpungementUnder N.J.S. 2C:52-5.3, you may now expunge any number of qualifying felonies, disorderly persons, or ordinance convictions with a “clean slate” expungement. The clean slate expungement was designed to give everyone one chance to expunge their record and have a fresh start. In Order to qualify for the “clean slate” expungement, you  must wait ten years since you completed you sentence.

The most common disorderly persons offenses are:

  • Simple assault
  • Possession of under 50 grams of Marijuana
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Harassment
  • Shoplifting under $200 worth of merchandise
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Resisting arrest
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Bad checks

The most common ordinance violations tend to be related to noise and garbage accumulation, but can include public intoxication, consumption of alcohol in public, public urination, and violations of leash laws, etc.

If you would like to expunge your New Jersey criminal record and get your fresh start now, call DWI attorney Steven W. Hernandez, at 732-286-2700 for a free telephone consultation.  Your second chance starts here!

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