New Jersey Vital Records Research Guide
They also allow multiple offenses to be cleared at one time. Former Gov. Chris Christie signed the reforms into law at the end of last year.
Advocates say the reforms are important to allow people to reclaim their lives after committing a crime, meeting all sentencing and other requirements imposed by the courts as long as they had no new convictions. The stigma of having a criminal record can make it difficult to get a job, find an apartment and otherwise lead a prosperous life. Expungement provides the avenue for a second chance. People who have committed relatively minor indictable offenses, including some drug crimes, are eligible.
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A person may also seek to clear his juvenile record. Convictions for more serious offenses, including murder, kidnapping, arson, robbery and terrorism, cannot be expunged. The biggest change in the law allows a person to seek expungement as early as six years, rather than 10, after the completion of all prison time, post-release monitoring and the payment of all fines.
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It also permits the removal of as many as four offenses that occurred within a short time, sometimes called a crime spree. A person who has not paid all fines could still seek expungement if he continues to pay off the debt.
Scott M. Colabella, County Clerk
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Jump to subpage OPRA was enacted to: Expand the public's right of access to government records; Create an administrative appeals process if access is denied; and Define what records are and are not "government records.