201601.26
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New Jersey Moves Forward in Further Easing Path for Expungement of Criminal Records, While Status of Criminal Record Sealing in New York Remains at a Standstill

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While we continue to wait for action surrounding the sealing of criminal records in New York, this month the State of New Jersey made further advances in helping ex-offenders move forward with their lives.  NJ Governor Chris Christie has just signed Bill A206 into law — significantly reducing the time that some ex-offenders have to wait in order to have their criminal records expunged.  Previously, the waiting period in New Jersey for reformed ex-offenders to have criminal records expunged was 10 years; with this new law, the waiting period for expungement in NJ is now five years “from the date of the person’s last conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probabion or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later.”  The new expungement law in New Jersey also puts in effect further reductions in expungement waiting periods for cases of disorderly persons or petty disorderly person offense, reducing that waiting time from five to three years.

Noting that “expungement offers an incentive against recidivism” and questioning “How is a person supposed to successfully reintegrate back into society when almost every road to self-dependence is blocked by a criminal record,” primary sponsors of the bill Assemblyman Jerry Green, D-Union and Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer, D-Essex helped to bring this bill, which received final legislative approval in September 2015, forward.  Governor Christie signed the bill into law on January 19th, and it will go into effect in 90 days.

Currently, there is still no expungement or sealing law in New York that applies to the vast majority of adults in the criminal justice system.  While important steps and advances surrounding criminal record sealing in New York have been made in recent years, there has been no further progress in Albany surrounding expungement in New York — leaving so many reformed ex-offenders in New York without the opportunity for that all-important second-chance.

We are pleased with the recent developments surrounding expungement in New Jersey, and continue to hope that 2016 will be the year that criminal record sealing in New York becomes a reality.  For further questions about the status of criminal record sealing/expungement law in New York, and to see if you or someone you know may qualify for conditional record sealing in New York, call us at 516-294-0300, or email Rick Collins at rcollins@cgmbesq.com.

For more information about the recent advances and new law surrounding expungement in New Jersey, click here: www.njlawjournal.com/id=1202747403262/Christie-OKs-Measure-Easing-Expungement#ixzz3yHHdzb4m

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