Conduct and Character are Relevant in Determining Whether to Grant Early Expungements
The Supreme Court recently ruled that judges deciding whether to grant petitioners early expungements of their criminal records in the public interest must balance the nature of the offense and the petitioner’s character and conduct.
In In re Kollman, the petitioners sought to have his record expunged before the standard 10-year period, which is allowed under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(a) in certain circumstances. In such a case, a petitioner has the burden of showing that the following three requirements under this statute have been met: (1) at least five years have passed since the petitioner’s conviction; (2) no additional offenses have been committed; and (3) an expungement would be in the public’s interest. The trial judge in In Re Kollman denied the petitioner’s expungement application as against the public interest because the petitioner had admitted to selling Ecstasy. The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed and, balancing the best interests of the public and the petitioner’s behavior, conduct, and character since his guilty plea, ordered a new hearing as to whether his record should be expunged.
If you or someone you know desires to apply for an expungement of a criminal record, please call New Jersey criminal lawyers Schwartz & Posnock at (732) 544-1460 for assistance.