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Mainor, Wimberly & Spencer Introduce Expungement Reform Legislation

(TRENTON) – Assembly Democrats Charles Mainor, Benjie Wimberly and L. Grace Spencer have introduced legislation that would allow all non-first degree crimes to be expunged, upon application, after two years.

“When an individual has made every effort to stay out of trouble, the improprieties of their past should remain exactly that,” said Mainor (D-Hudson). “The content of a criminal record follows a person to every job interview and pops up in every background check. However, individuals taking steps to move on from past indiscretions and who have become a viable part of society should be supported by allowing them to clean up their record sooner rather than later.”

The bill (A-3060) would amend state law to permit expunging of indictable crimes and offenses after a two year period, except that any crime in the code of Criminal Justice classified as a crime of the first degree would be ineligible whether or not specifically added to the ineligible list.

“An individual should not have to live under the cloud of past imprudence,” said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Those with minor infractions with the law have the opportunity under this bill to clear the slate. Shortening the time allowed to expunge criminal records of minor indiscretions would help residents get their lives back on track.”

“A criminal record from years ago can make or break a person with good intentions today,” said Spencer (D-Essex). “Any person who has met court requirements and has a clear record for a period of time should be allowed to file an application to expunge items from their records. Helping residents remove any obstacles that may keep them from gaining employment or moving forward in life is helpful today.”

Under the bill’s provisions, the law would be amended to reduce the eligible years from 5 to 2 for an individual to be able to expunge criminal records.
The bill would enable any person convicted of a disorderly persons offense or a petty disorderly offense under the laws of the state who has not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime, whether in this state or any other jurisdiction, or of another three disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses, to, after 2 years from the date of conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or release from incarceration, petition for all records and information pertaining to be expunged.

The measure has been referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.