Expungement of Criminal Records
The time when a defendant can apply for expungement of a criminal record varies with the Court and the offense to which the defendant pled guilty. Generally the more serious the crime, and the higher the Court in which the case was handled, the longer a person must wait to seek expungement.
For Municipal Court prosecutions, if the case is dismissed, a defendant may seek expungement right away. If the defendant pleads guilty to a municipal ordinance violation, the waiting period is two years from the day of conviction. If the defendant pleads guilty to a disorderly persons offense, the waiting period is five years. With Superior Court matters, which are felonies, a defendant must wait for a period of ten years from the date of conviction. Where a defendant has been entered into a rehabilitative program, such as Pre-Trial Intervention in Superior Court or Conditional Discharge in Municipal Court, the waiting period is six months from the end of the period of probationary supervision resulting in the dismissal of the charges.