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Getting a criminal charge is tough, but a New Jersey attorney can help. This is something that will be part of your permanent record. A criminal charge on a record can sometimes prevent someone from getting a job, joining the military, and more. Getting an expungement is a way to clear your record. Once the expungement process is complete, the charge will not show up in the data bank that is used for background checks. If the expungement process seems daunting or overwhelming, don’t worry – an attorney like Leon Matchin can help walk you through the entire process. Read on to learn all about expungement and how an attorney can help.

What is Expungement?

According to New Jersey Code 2C:52-1, expungement is “the extraction and isolation of all records on file within any court, detention or correctional facility, law enforcement or criminal justice agency concerning a person’s detection, apprehension, arrest, detention, trial or disposition of an offense within the criminal system.” The time period to apply for expungement depends on what happened when you were charged. For example, if you were arrested but not convicted, you can usually apply for expungement right away. If you were convicted of an indictable offense, the waiting period could be up to 10 years before you can apply for expungement. Sometimes you will need to appear in court during the expungement process, but other times it is not needed. Your New Jersey attorney will let you know based on your case.

Why is Expungement Important?

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Expungement is important because having a criminal record can unfortunately affect things later on in life. Often when you’re applying for a new job, the employer will run a background check. If they find a criminal charge on your record, they may decide to select another candidate. According to a 2019 NPR article on expungement, a study shows that the unemployment rate is more than 27% for people who have been incarcerated. This is a high percentage. It can be challenging for those with criminal backgrounds to get back on their feet if they cannot find a job.

In addition, it can also hurt your chances of joining the military. It can affect various other processes, too, like adopting a child or applying for an international visa. In 2019, the college Common Application took out the question that asks students about their criminal history. This is crucial because it truly gives those with a criminal background a second chance to start over and get an education. There are so many reasons people have criminal records, and it can seem very unfair that a moment from the past can dictate the rest of your life. This is why expungement is such a wonderful opportunity. It gives those with a criminal record a chance to start over, move on, and be the person that they want to be without a criminal label.

How Do I Apply?

Leon Matchin, your local New Jersey attorney, will walk you through the entire expungement process. Based on what happened with your charge, he will let you know when you are allowed to apply. He will also determine whether or not you will need to appear in court. If you do need to appear in court, the date will be set between 35 and 60 days of your filing for expungement. He will also help you put together the needed information to apply for expungement. This includes information like the date of arrest, the original indictment, and the court’s disposition. Don’t worry about figuring out all of this information on your own. Leon will help you every step of the way.

Will Anyone Know About My Record Expungement?

For the most part, after receiving an expungement, no one will ever know about your former criminal charge. There is one exception to this rule. Under New Jersey law, if you apply for a job with a law enforcement agency, corrections agency, or with the judicial branch of the government, you must report that you have received an expungement. You may worry that someone who knows about your past may tell someone in your present life, even though your records are expunged. Don’t worry; this is punishable by law. New Jersey law code 2C:52-30 states that revealing the existence of a criminal record with knowledge of the expungement is considered a disorderly person’s offense. That person will be punished with a maximum fine of $200.

How Can a New Jersey Attorney Help?

Filing for expungement is a process. In the New Jersey law code, there are 32 different sections that pertain to expungement. Rather than doing the research yourself and trying to figure out what to do, hire a local New Jersey attorney like Leon Matchin. He will make the process simple from start to finish. New Jersey law code 2C:52-7 lists everything necessary to petition for expungement. This includes information ranging from the petitioner’s date of birth to the court’s disposition. Leon Matchin will run through this list with you and help you collect the necessary information. His goal is also ensuring everything is organized properly to make a solid case for expungement.

Finding Your New Jersey Attorney

Expungement is a wonderful opportunity for those convicted of a criminal charge to have it removed from their record. Getting an expungement means your criminal record will not show up when you have a background check done. This can make things like applying for a job or joining the military a lot easier. It truly gives those with a criminal background a second chance. Leon Matchin is a New Jersey attorney with experience in helping clients petition for expungement. He will walk you through the process from start to finish. This means you can relax, knowing that you are in good hands. For more information about the expungement process and how an attorney can help, call Leon Matchin today at(833) 732-7320, or contact him via email at [email protected].