EXPUNGING DRUG DIVERSION COURT & DIVERSION CASES IN NEW JERSEY
Don’t Let Your Past Mistakes with Drugs or Alcohol Hold You Back
Having a criminal record makes life more difficult. A criminal record can prevent you from getting the job you want, renting livable housing, obtaining professional licenses, qualifying for government programs, and many other opportunities in life that you’d otherwise be entitled to.
If you’ve successfully completed Drug Court, Pretrial Intervention, Conditional Discharge or Dismissal, Veteran’s Diversion, or an alternative sentencing program, your charges were likely dismissed, but the record of your arrest and program participation will remain in the public domain unless you expunge it. In New Jersey, criminal records are easy to view online using the Promis Gavel Criminal Record Database. This means that your past mistakes will appear in almost any background check, no matter how long it’s been since your arrest or conviction.
Thankfully, if you have indeed successfully completed one of these diversion programs, you can often expunge the record of your arrest and participation. Expunging your criminal record makes it inaccessible to the general public and will help you pass employment-related background searches. There are minor exceptions where expunged records can be accessed for limited purposes, but, for all other purposes, it will be as if your arrest and participation in the diversion program never occurred.
Our law firm has helped thousands of clients deal with criminal records of every kind, and we hear success stories from them often. If a criminal record in New Jersey is holding you back in life, keep reading to see what you can do about it.
New Jersey Criminal Terminology
New Jersey criminal law uses different terminology than most states. Instead of “felony,” the common term for a serious crime, New Jersey uses the term “indictable offense” for crimes that are punishable by more than six months of confinement. Additionally, instead of using the much more common term “misdemeanor,” New Jersey calls its less serious crimes “disorderly persons offenses.” In contrast, its least serious offenses are called violations of municipal ordinances, which is commonly used in many states. To keep things simple, we are going to use felony, misdemeanor, and violation when describing different levels of crimes.
This Information Is For You
Since the majority of people reading this aren’t lawyers, we’ve tried to simplify the legal jargon on our website, so regular people may follow along and get the information needed to understand their rights. However, before we get started, we should be clear that some of this information can get complicated, and, in many cases, it’s best to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer.
To help you understand your rights, our lawyers have developed a tool that can be helpful in figuring out your options. This tool can’t be perfectly accurate in every situation, but our lawyers have invested substantial time and resources working to make it as accurate as possible.
You can get started by using our Secure Eligibility Test, or you can give us a call at (844) 947-3732 to see if our legal staff is available for a free consultation. Be aware that our staff is often busy with current clients and a high volume of calls and appointments. If you’re serious about getting rid of your record, your best bet is to take our secure, confidential Eligibility Test and then schedule an appointment to discuss your results and options.
Antranig Garibian maintains an active litigation practice throughout the state and federal courts of Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Mr. Garibian represents and advises individuals and businesses on matters involving commercial contracts, insurance coverage, liability claims, corporate governance, loss prevention and general business matters.
Mr. Garibian frequently writes articles and speaks at seminars on a wide array of emerging legal issues.
He is a graduate of Princeton University and Temple University School of Law.
Do You Qualify to Expunge Your Drug Court or Diversion Record?
The requirements to expunge records of arrest and participation in Drug Court or Diversion are typically easy to satisfy, but they still depend on the specific type of sentencing you’ve received.
We’re going to discuss the requirements for expunging records relating to Drug Court, Pretrial Intervention, Conditional Discharge or Dismissal, and Veteran’s Diversion, as these are the most common types of alternative sentencing. However, there are other programs not discussed below that may qualify for expungement. If you were sentenced to a different alternative sentencing program, feel free to give our law firm a call at (844) 947-3732 for more information.
- 1. Expunging Records Relating to Drug Courtexpand_more
If you were arrested and sentenced to Drug Court, you must satisfy the following requirements to expunge the related records:
You must have successfully completed your Drug Court sentence and received a discharge
You cannot have been convicted of any additional felonies or misdemeanors while you were participating in Drug Court and
You cannot have ever been convicted of any of the ineligible offenses listed below.
If you have been convicted of any of the following offenses, it is unlikely that you can expunge the records relating to your arrest and participation in Drug Court:
Any offense committed by a person holding public office, if the crime touched or involved their public office
Criminal Homicide, except death by auto as specified in section 2C:11-5 (Section 2C:11-1 et seq.)
Kidnapping (Section 2C:13-1)
Luring or Enticing (Section 2C:13-6)
Human Trafficking (Section C.2C:13-8)
Aggravated Sexual Assault (Section 2C:14-2)
Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact (Section 2C:14-3a)
Criminal Sexual Contact, if the victim is a minor (Section 2C:14-3b)
Criminal Restraint or False Imprisonment, if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim (Section 2C:13-2 or 2C:13-3)
Robbery (Section 2C:15-1)
Arson and Related Offenses (Section 2C:17-1)
Endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child (Section 2C:24-4a)
Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Section 2C:24-4b(4))
Causing or permitting a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act (Section 2C:24-4b(3))
Selling or manufacturing child pornography (Section 2C:24-4b.(5)(a))
Perjury (Section 2C:28-1)
False Swearing (Section 2C:28-2)
Knowingly promoting the prostitution of the actor's child (Section 2C:34-1b(4))
Terrorism (Section C.2C:38-2))
Producing or Possessing Chemical Weapons, Biological Agents or Nuclear or Radiological Devices (Section C.2C:38-3) and
Conspiracies or attempts to commit such crimes.
If committed prior to September 1, 1971, the following criminal offenses will also make you ineligible to expunge your Drug Court records:
or a conspiracy or any attempt to commit any of these offenses.
- 2. Expunging Records Relating to Pretrial Intervention and Conditional Discharge or Dismissalexpand_more
If you were arrested and sentenced to Pretrial Intervention, Conditional Discharge, or Conditional Dismissal (collectively referred to as “Diversion” below), you must satisfy the following requirements to expunge the records related to your arrest and participation in the program:
You must have successfully completed your Diversion sentence, and received a dismissal and
Six months must have passed since you successfully completed your Diversion program.
- 3. Expunging Records Relating to Veteran's Diversion Programsexpand_more
Of the different diversion programs that we’ve discussed on this page, the requirements to expunge Veteran’s Diversion programs are the easiest. If you successfully complete the terms of your Veteran’s Diversion program and have your charges dismissed, you may immediately expunge the record of your arrest and participation in the program.
Legal Effect Of Expunging New Jersey Drug Court or Diversion
- How Will Expunging My Participation in Drug Court or Diversion Help Me Get a Job?expand_more
After completing one of these programs, your charges are typically dismissed, however, the record of your arrest and participation in the program will remain. Expungement is New Jersey’s best available option to improve your chances of obtaining a job after completing Drug Court or Diversion. Your record will no longer be available to the public and will not appear in employment-related background checks, unless you’re seeking a job in law enforcement.
Various criminal justice agencies may access sealed records, but they’re rarely permitted to share them or comment on their existence. Even after expungement, though, your record may be kept in the Pretrial Intervention Registry, and certain records may be filed pursuant to the Controlled Dangerous Substances Registry Act of 1970.
Once you receive a court order expunging your records relating to Drug Court or another Diversion Program, you may legally state that you were never arrested or have never participated in a diversion program, and you may act as though the incident never occurred. New Jersey’s expungement laws are very effective in helping you pass the background checks that most employers require.
- Will Expunging My Participation in Drug Court or Diversion Restore My Second Amendment Rights?expand_more
In most cases, participation in Drug Court or a Diversion program will cause your charges to be dismissed instead of resulting in a conviction or other finding of guilt. Since participation in these programs generally results in dismissed charges, the underlying charges will typically not restrict your firearm rights in the first place. In this case, expunging your arrest and participation in Drug Court or Diversion will have no effect on your firearm rights.
Your arrest and participation in one of these programs could still result in you being restricted under federal law from firearm ownership. The Gun Control Act, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), makes it unlawful for certain categories of persons to ship, transport, receive, or possess firearms or ammunition. This includes users of and those who are addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act, codified at 21 U.S.C. § 802). If your participation in one of these programs results in a finding that you are addicted to controlled substances, you may be prevented from owning a firearm, and it can be unclear whether an expungement will change this designation.
We will go into more detail regarding restoring Second Amendment rights in New Jersey on our New Jersey Firearm Rights Restoration page, but restoration typically involves both state and federal law that should be handled by an experienced lawyer. The lawyers in our firm regularly handle complex firearm rights restoration issues, so a good first step in exploring whether you can restore your firearm rights would be to take our Secure Eligibility Test. Then, if appropriate, set up a time to speak with our legal staff about how to proceed.
What You Need to Do to Get Rid of Your Record
If you are tired of having a criminal record hold you back, reach out to us by taking our Secure Eligibility Test or by giving us a call at (844) 947-3732. Our law firm has helped thousands of people with criminal records move on in life, leaving many of the negative effects of a criminal record behind. Our experienced attorneys and legal staff are here to help you figure out what criminal record clearing services best fit your needs, and then help you accomplish your goals. Using our secure, confidential Eligibility Test is the best way to get the process started.Some of the Potential Benefits of Expunging Your New Jersey Conviction Include:
Removing a finding of guilt and closing the case on your criminal record to help you get a better job
Restoring your Second Amendment Rights to own a firearm
Becoming eligible for professional licenses you previously did not qualify for
Increased eligibility for student loans, housing assistance, and government programs
Improving your ability to obtain higher-paying job opportunities
Improving access and admission to college and other educational resources
We Are Here to Help
Each of New Jersey's methods for dealing with your criminal record have different requirements and are meant for different circumstances. To move forward, it’s important to determine what New Jersey criminal record services are available to you, and then select the services that will provide the greatest benefit. Eastman Meyler, PC is here to help you navigate this very specific area of New Jersey criminal law, fight to protect your rights, and assist you in moving forward in life without the effects of a New Jersey criminal record.
You can trust that you will get exceptional service from our law firm, as we have an A Rating from the Better Business Bureau, and prestigious attorney rating services such as Thompson Reuters and Avvo list our attorneys as Super Lawyers and Superb Attorneys. Our law firm has attorneys licensed to practice law in all New Jersey state courts, provides low price guarantees, and is here to fight for you and put your criminal record behind you!