Amendments to the Expungement Statutes (Part 3)

by | Mar 14, 2018 | Blog, Criminal Law, Monmouth County, New Jersey, Ocean County

Notwithstanding the provisions concerning the six-year time requirement, if a fine which is currently subject to collection under the comprehensive enforcement program established pursuant to P.L.1995, c.9 (C.2B:19-1 et al.) is not yet satisfied due to reasons other than willful noncompliance, but the time requirement of six years is otherwise satisfied, the person may submit the expungement application and the court may grant an expungement, provided, however, that if expungement is granted under this paragraph, the court shall provide for the continued collection of any outstanding amount owed that is necessary to satisfy the fine or the entry of civil judgment for the outstanding amount.

Additionally, an application may be filed and presented, and the court may grant an expungement pursuant to this section, although less than six years have expired in accordance with the time requirements when the court finds:

(1) the fine is satisfied but less than six years have expired from the date of satisfaction and the time requirement of six years is otherwise satisfied, and the court finds that the person substantially complied with any payment plan ordered pursuant to N.J.S.2C:46-1 et seq., or could not do so due to compelling circumstances affecting his ability to satisfy the fine.

The preceding paragraphs are also consistent with an emphasis on making expungements available to more people and with a shorter waiting period. This is a sound policy given that financial resources do not make an applicant deserving of an expungement. On the other hand, an expedited expungement application is too complicated for most people to attempt on their own. The hiring of an attorney to handle the expedited application begs the question of where the applicant found the money for an attorney if they are supposedly indigent. Note that expungements are civil petitions and applicants cannot qualify for a public defender to handle them.