The following is a video transcript.
Today I want to talk to you about expungement in New Jersey: clearing your record. You know, New Jersey has a lot of lousy gun laws, but one thing New Jersey has that is actually good are its expungement laws. You can get certain convictions and arrests expunged, and once they’re expunged, they’re deemed as a matter of law not to have occurred.
Once you get an expungement, your disqualifier for owning a firearm is removed, under not only state law, but Federal law as well. Federal law expressly recognizes a state expungement. This way, when you’re filling out a gun form, you’re actually able to write, “No,” to the question, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” If your record has been expunged, the answer is, “No,” and it is no longer a disqualifier.
Now, certain offenses are not able to be expunged, but many offenses are. You’re allowed in New Jersey to get one felony expunged. You’re also allowed to get disorderly persons offenses expunged. Now, New Jersey doesn’t use the term “felony.” It doesn’t use the term “misdemeanor.” It uses “crimes” and “disorderly persons offenses,” but you can think of it as felonies and misdemeanors. So, you’re able to get all arrests that did not result in a conviction expunged. Disorderly persons offenses can be expunged to a certain limit, too, and you’re allowed at least one felony expungement.
So, New Jersey does have a decent expungement statute. Taking advantage of it can clear your record and restore your rights. It’s a great thing to have that. Federally, there’s a disqualifier that says felons essentially can’t have a firearm, but if you’re expunged by your state, that is removed. Unfortunately, under Federal law there’s no way to get a rights restoration short of a Presidential pardon. But, if it’s a state offense, particularly in New Jersey, then you’re able to get a New Jersey expungement.
If you have any more questions about how to get an expungement, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak with your Independent Program Attorney today.