On September 24, 2015 the NJ Senate passed two bills intended to ease the attainment of expungements when it comes to certain criminal records.

Under one bill, enacted into law by the Senate, a victim of identify theft who is later charged with committing a crime perpetrated by the person responsible for the identify theft, is entitled to have a judge seal all the records of the criminal complaint. With this bill, a prosecutor can petition a judge to declare a victim of identity theft to be factually innocent of the crime in question. This person then is not required to wait until the typical statutory deadline in order to have the matter expunged. He/she also do not have to pay the expungement fee.

The second bill reduces the statutory waiting period for an expungement of a criminal conviction from 10 years to five years from the later of the individual’s: conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration. The waiting period for a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense is reduced from five to three years. This second bill must return to the New Jersey Assembly prior to becoming law.

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