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Expungement of Certain NJ Drug Offenses for Young Adults

27
Jul
2011

by in Expungements

Under certain circumstances, those convicted of simple CDS – drug possession charges in New Jersey may be able to obtain an expungement only a year after completing their sentence. This is governed by a special statute, quoted below, and has strict limitation. Call now to speak with a New Jersey Expungement Lawyer.

The applicable law reads: Expungement of records of young drug offenders.

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections, after a period of not less than one year following conviction, termination of probation or parole or discharge from custody, whichever is later, any person convicted of an offense under chapters 35 or 36 of this title for the possession or use of a controlled dangerous substance, convicted of violating P.L. 1955, c. 277, § 3), or convicted of violating P.L. 1962, c. 113, § 1, and who at the time of the offense was 21 years of age or younger, may apply to the Superior Court in the county wherein the matter was disposed of for the expungement of such person’s conviction and all records pertaining thereto. The relief of expungement under this section shall be granted only if said person has not, prior to the time of hearing, violated any of the conditions of his probation or parole, albeit subsequent to discharge from probation or parole, has not been convicted of any previous or subsequent criminal act or any subsequent or previous violation of chapters 35 or 36 of this title or of P.L. 1955, c. 277, § 3 or of P.L. 1962, c. 113, § 1, or who has not had a prior or subsequent criminal matter dismissed because of acceptance into a supervisory treatment or other diversion program.

This section shall not apply to any person who has been convicted of the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance or possession with the intent to sell any controlled dangerous substance except:

  1. Marihuana, where the total sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was 25 grams or less, or
  2. Hashish, where the total amount sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was 5 grams or less.

Here are some examples of commonly cited New Jersey expungement cases.

Juvenile was entitled to have his conviction expunged under the statute because he served his sentence of incarceration, even though it was illegal, when his commitment to a state institution was followed by a split sentence of jail time and probation. State v. J.C.S., 156 N.J. Super. 66, 383 A.2d 455, 1978 N.J. Super. LEXIS 700 (App. Div. 1978).

Officer who observed a white plastic pill bottle on the floor of a van he had stopped for speeding had probable cause to believe a crime had been committed; defendants’ motion to suppress the contents of the bottle and other narcotics subsequently found in the van was properly denied. State v. Waltz, 61 N.J. 83, 293 A.2d 167, 1972 N.J. LEXIS 159 (1972).

Officer who observed a white plastic pill bottle on the floor of a van he had stopped for speeding had probable cause to believe a crime had been committed; defendants’ motion to suppress the contents of the bottle and other narcotics subsequently found in the van was properly denied. State v. Waltz, 61 N.J. 83, 293 A.2d 167, 1972 N.J. LEXIS 159 (1972).

Where a husband’s criminal charges and related consequences that arose from a domestic incident might be subject to expungement under N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:52-1a, a domestic violence complaint arising from the same incident, in which his wife sought restraints and other civil relief, was not; this result contrasted with that related to offenses not traditionally considered “crimes” but for which expungement was provided, e.g., N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:52-3, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:52-4, and N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:52-4.1, or for crimes otherwise excluded from expungement but where particular characteristics existed, e.g., N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:52-5, or where a conviction did not result because of a dismissal, acquittal or discharge, e.g., N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:52-6. In re Expungement of the Criminal Record of M.D.Z., 286 N.J. Super. 82, 668 A.2d 423, 1995 N.J. Super. LEXIS 564 (App.Div. 1995).

Former N.J. Stat. Ann. § 24:21-28 (now N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:52-5) provided that after a period of only six months after expiration of probation both the conviction record and the arrest record of the defendant shall be expunged. The policy of alleviating, from the one-time youthful drug offender, the stigma of an arrest and conviction can be seen in the shortness of the waiting period between conviction and expungement and in the thoroughness of the expungement process. State v. Campobasso, 125 N.J. Super. 103, 308 A.2d 674, 1973 N.J. Super. LEXIS 424 (Law Div. 1973).

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