Changes to Marijuana-Related Expungements (Part 12)

by | Feb 26, 2020 | Blog, Criminal Law, Drug Crime, Marijuana, Monmouth County, New Jersey, Ocean County

N.J.S.2C:52-6 is amended to read as follows:

2C:52-6. Arrests not resulting in conviction.

a. When a person has been arrested or held to answer for a crime, disorderly persons offense, petty disorderly persons offense, or municipal ordinance violation under the laws of this State or of any governmental entity thereof and proceedings against the person were dismissed, the person was acquitted, or the person was discharged without a conviction or finding of guilt, the Superior Court shall, at the time of dismissal, acquittal, or discharge, or, in any case set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection, order the expungement of all records and information relating to the arrest.

    1. If proceedings took place in municipal court, the municipal court shall follow procedures developed by the Administrative Director of the Courts.
    2. The provisions of N.J.S.2C:52-7 through N.J.S.2C:52-14 shall not apply to an expungement pursuant to this.
    3. An expungement under this subsection shall not be ordered where the dismissal, acquittal, or discharge resulted from a plea bargaining agreement involving the conviction of other charges. This bar, however, shall not apply once the conviction is itself expunged.
    4. The court shall forward a copy of the expungement order to the county The county prosecutor shall promptly distribute copies of the expungement order to appropriate law enforcement agencies and correctional institutions who have custody and control of the records specified in the order so that they may comply with the requirements of N.J.S.2C:52-15.
    5. An expungement related to a dismissal, acquittal, or discharge ordered pursuant to this subsection shall not bar any future expungement.
    6. Where a dismissal of an offense is based on an eligible servicemember’s successful participation in a Veterans Diversion Program pursuant to P.L.2017, c.42 (C.2C:43-23 et al.), the county prosecutor, on behalf of the eligible servicemember, may move before the court for the expungement of all records and information relating to the arrest and the diversion at the time of dismissal pursuant to this section.

b. When a person did not apply or a prosecutor did not move on behalf of an eligible servicemember for an expungement of an arrest not resulting in a conviction pursuant to subsection a. of this section, the person may at any time following the disposition of proceedings, present a duly verified petition as provided in N.J.S.2C:52-7 to the Superior Court in the county in which the disposition occurred praying that records of such arrest and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged.

c. (1) Any person who has had charges dismissed against him pursuant to a program of supervisory treatment pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-12, or conditional discharge pursuant to N.J.S.2C:36A1, or conditional dismissal pursuant to P.L.2013, c.158 (C.2C:4313.1 et al.), shall be barred from the relief provided in this section until six months after the entry of the order of dismissal.

   (2) A servicemember who has successfully participated in a Veterans Diversion Program pursuant to P.L.2017, c.42 (C.2C:4323 et al.) may apply for expungement pursuant to this section at any time following the order of dismissal if an expungement was not granted at the time of dismissal.

d. Any person who has been arrested or held to answer for a crime shall be barred from the relief provided in this section where the dismissal, discharge, or acquittal resulted from a determination that the person was insane or lacked the mental capacity to commit the crime charged.

(cf: P.L.2017, c.42, s.7)

Sub-section (a) of 2C:52-6 also removed the requirement that a person with a dismissed charge submit an application or petition to the court for an expedited expungement. When the amendment takes effect, courts will be required to submit an expungement order sua sponte. Subsection 2C:52-6(a)(2) was amended to remove language indicating that the expungement was “free of charge.”