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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26059
Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
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I was indicted for aggravated assault about 20 years ago in

Customer Question

I was indicted for aggravated assault about 20 years ago in NJ. Completed the process and have been good until a year and a half ago. I got a conditional discharge on the municipal level for drug paraphernalia. My lawyer said after 6 months from completion of the program I could expunge it. He also said it wouldn't be a problem expunging my old record.

Now I have started the expungement process on my own but read that in nj if you had a pti or a supervised sentence that you couldn't expunge the indictment. Is this true? Is that still true if the conditional discharge was on the municipal level? And if I filed the papers for both will they still expunge the conditional discharge? Or will they throw out the whole case?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the chance to assist on this matter. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience in criminal law.

You CAN expunge a conditional discharge in NJ...but there is a waiting period by statute.

Can you tell me, how long from the time of the adjudication (when the discharge took effect) until you filed for expungement?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm past the 6 month waiting period. I don't think you fully read and understood the question. I also have a prior indictment from 20 years ago I wanted to expunge too. Will the conditional discharge stop me from expunging that? Will they throw the whole case out because I tried to expunge both? Or will they just expunge the conditional discharge? Also, when applying for a job that asks about criminal record. How am I supposed to report it? As a yes, I have a record or as a no, I don't have a record?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Sir.

I understand the question...but I wanted to make sure I had the time line correct (since the timeline is very important by statute).

Just a moment please, I need to pull the statute

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, it bought you misunderstood. I'm good on the timeline part. Just getting conflicting answers on which parts of my record can be expunged. My conditional discharge was a municipal misdomener. And the aggravated assault 20 years ago was a felony.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for the back and forth (I wanted to make sure I had the statute correct)

And even more sorry to have to bear bad news.

Your lawyer gave you some incorrect information.

The rule for expungement for municipal convictions is NOT 6 months. It is 2 years. here is that statue

2C:52-4. Ordinances
In all cases wherein a person has been found guilty of violating a municipal ordinance of any governmental entity of this State and who has not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction, and who has not been adjudged a disorderly person or petty disorderly person on more than two occasions, may, after the expiration of a period of 2 years from the date of his conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or release from incarceration, whichever is later, present a duly verified petition as provided in section 2C:52-7 herein to the Superior Court in the county in which the violation occurred praying that such conviction and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged.


The other problem is your prior conviction of the felon will stop the processing of the municipal conviction, even if you waited 2 years.


Now...the indictable offense is a separate matter. I will post the pertinent portion of that statue below


2C:52-2. Indictable Offenses

a. In all cases, except as herein provided, wherein a person has been convicted of a crime under the laws of this State and who has not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction, and has not been adjudged a disorderly person or petty disorderly person on more than two occasions may, after the expiration of a period of 10 years from the date of his conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later, present a duly verified petition as provided in section 2C:52-7 to the Superior Court in the county in which the conviction was entered praying that such conviction and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged.


So you are good on this one...since the conditional discharge on the municipal level for drug paraphernalia is NOT a conviction for purposes of this statute. So long as you completed the requirements and the charge was, in fact, discharged. You can proceed with that application for expungement.

BotXXXXX XXXXXne: the recent municipal conviction can not be expunged since you had a prior conviction. But you can apply for expungement on the Indictable Offense
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I wasn't convicted on the municipal discharge. I was conditionally discharged. Which from my understanding from my research and my lawyers is a different thing. I have read in multiple places. Including the instructions for expunging your record from the nj court system that a municipal conditional discharge can be expunged after 6 months.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Just a moment...I need to pull the statue again..
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Apologies

I pulled the wrong statute


I agree with you...it is 6 months

Here is the statute that applies

2C:52-6. Arrests not resulting in conviction

a. In all cases, except as herein provided, wherein a person has been arrested or held to answer for a crime, disorderly persons offense, petty disorderly persons offense or municipal ordinance violation under the laws of this State or of any governmental entity thereof and against whom proceedings were dismissed, or who was acquitted, or who was discharged without a conviction or finding of guilt, may at any time following the disposition of proceedings, present a duly verified petition as provided in section 2C:52-7 to the Superior Court in the county in which the disposition occurred praying that records of such arrest and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged.

b. Any person who has had charges dismissed against him pursuant to P.L.1970, c. 226, § 27 (C. 24:21-27) or pursuant to a program of supervisory treatment, shall be barred from the relief provided in this section until 6 months after the entry of the order of dismissal.





And there is no "prior conviction language"

So you are good to go

BUT understand you have to separate actions

One for the indictable offense

One for the municipal offense

They are separate...keep them that way. you want to file them separately


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Inaccurate answer.
I don't trust an answer from a lawyer that is quoting the wrong statutes. I'm looking for more of an expert in this type of case.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would like an expert with a little more knowledge of this kind of case. I do appreciate you taking the time to reply to my question. Thank you.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Sir, I have replied and provided the accurate answer. I suspect the fact you rated me poorly has created a chilling effect...I sure would not take a chance of getting such a rating in the future...so that may be why other experts have decided to steer clear of this question.

I wish you the best of luck sir.

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