Why Should Someone File For Expungement?
A person can file for an expungement just to give them a little peace of mind; about 95% of those who come to me about expungements do so for employment purposes; to get a better and higher paying job. For that reason alone, getting a record expunged is very important; if you need to make more money for whatever reason, it’s important to have those charges removed, so they don’t show up on background checks. It’s also important for people who rent, because most landlords do background checks these days and they often won’t rent to someone with a criminal history. Your criminal history may not reflect the person you are now, and you may be embarrassed and not want people to see it.
Does Having An Arrest On One’s Record Affect Financial Aid And Getting Into School?
For the most part, an arrest record won’t affect entry into a school or a financial aid application, but a conviction will. Also, many people think a juvenile charge when they were under 18 will automatically be expunged, but that’s not true; their criminal history is visible until they have it expunged, so things like underage possession of alcohol, underage gambling, simple assaults and things of that nature are all part of their record, even if they happened as a juvenile. However, details like police reports and so forth can’t be obtained by the general public, just the conviction, unless they make an application with the court.
Of course, anyone can make a request for the records concerning adult conviction under the Open Public Records Act, or OPRA, so they can get police reports and see what that person had done.
Can Someone Get Their DWI Charges Expunged?
New Jersey DWIs are not expungable because they are considered a traffic offense, not a crime and in New Jersey only criminal offenses can be expunged. Someone’s driving history probably won’t impact their ability to get employment, unless they were applying for a driving job. A drunk driving conviction can’t be expunged. In addition to traffic violations, it is my understanding that federal charges are also not expungable, including charges with the military.
Does an Expungement Restore the Right To Have Firearms?
In the law, certain felonies preclude someone from having the right or the ability to possess a firearm, but if the felony is expunged, there will be no absolute bar to getting a firearms ID card or a weapon, although I often remind clients that if they have a conviction expunged and apply for a weapons permit, they should be prepared because the local police department may deny the permit, because they can still see the record, and they may have to file an appeal with the Superior Court to get the weapon or permit.
At that hearing, they should be prepared; they should have a lot of character letters, so that we can pick a few of the best people to come in and testify. Most likely, they will have to go and get a psychological evaluation and have a psychiatrist or a psychologist testify that the person was not a threat to themselves or others and that it would be entirely appropriate for them to have a weapon.
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