#TeachingTuesday: Expungement

All too many individuals in recovery carry the scarlet letter of a criminal record from their active addiction – which can create tremendous barriers for individuals seeking to rebuild their lives – specifically with education, employment and housing. The Ammon Foundation is committed to empowering individuals in or seeking recovery by helping to remove these barriers. As such, on Tuesday, March 19th, we hosted an Expungement Seminar focusing on the New Jersey expungement laws and process.

The Foundation created  #TeachingTuesday under its new Community Engagement Initiative. This series is designed to offer professional and personal development as a means of recovery enhancement. The series is facilitated by subject matter experts, at the Foundation office in Linden, NJ and offers a small and intimate opportunity for approximately 20 community members. Via blog posts following each event the Foundation intends to expand its reach to reach a broader audience.

The Expungement seminar was facilitated by Melissa O’Mara, Esq. and Margaux Loures, both Assistant Prosecutors from the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and provided a short description of the laws in NJ and answered questions posed by participants.  They provided an expungement packet and then met individually with participants to answer questions about their individual records. Participants were then offered additional information via email and for those looking for a second review of their records, a follow up has been scheduled.  

I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am for last week’s Teaching Tuesday Event. All of the women present were helpful and so very welcoming.  I left the event with much greater knowledge and I must say, even though I did not receive the best news possible regarding my eligibility, there is still hope for my expungement. I have begun the process of obtaining my criminal records. Thank you so much.”  Ken

Information about navigating the NJ expungement process can be found below:

Expungement packet digital link: https://njcourts.gov/forms/10557_expunge_kit.pdf

Records you will need in order to prepare your expungement petition and prove your eligibility:

  1. The date of your arrest as an adult or when you were taken into custody as a juvenile.
  2. The statute(s) and the offense(s) for which you were arrested, taken into custody as a juvenile, convicted or adjudicated delinquent.
  3. The original indictment, accusation, summons, docket number, warrant number or complaint number. Include all, if more than one.
  4. The date of the disposition, which could be the date of the conviction or adjudication of delinquency, date of not guilty verdict or date of dismissal.
  5. The specific punishment or other disposition.

All of the above information can be found on a “rap sheet”. In order to obtain your criminal/juvenile history record (also known as a rap sheet) from the New Jersey State Police, you will need to be fingerprinted. The State Police use the electronic fingerprint scanning services of a private company, MorphoTrust USA. You will need to contact MorphoTrust USA to schedule an appointment for fingerprinting. You can obtain additional information and schedule an appointment via the internet at www.bioapplicant.com/nj, or by calling their toll free telephone: 1-877-503-5981.

If you are seeking an expungement under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(a)(2) for a conviction where at least 5 years has expired (the public interest time requirement exception) or for a conviction of a 3rd or 4th degree CDS  (drug offense) offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(c)(3), you must provide (1) evidence of character and conduct since conviction, and (2) all transcripts of the plea and sentencing hearings, as well as a copy of your presentence investigation (PSI) report.

To order transcripts from a Superior Court proceeding, contact the transcript office in the county where the original matter was heard. A list of the transcript offices in each Superior Court appears at the end of this guide. The court transcript request form can be found at https://www.njcourts.gov/forms/11948_transcript_offices.pdf.

The Foundation’s next #TeachingTuesday, Kickstart your Career, is scheduled for May 21st, 2019 at their headquarters, 1622 S. Wood Avenue, Linden, NJ. It will include Resume Writing, Job Search Process, Mock Interviews and More.  To register, email info@ammonfoundation.org.