The following repealed offenses from our old criminal code cannot be expunged under New Jersey law: murder, manslaughter, treason, anarchy, kidnapping, rape, forcible sodomy, arson, perjury, false swearing, robbery, embracery, or a conspiracy or any attempt to commit any of the foregoing, or aiding, assisting or concealing persons accused of the foregoing crimes.
The current list offenses that cannot be expunged under New Jersey law is as follows: N.J.S. 2C:11-1 et seq. (Criminal Homicide);N.J.S. 2C:13-1 (Kidnapping); section 1 of P.L.1993, c.291 (C. 2C:13-6) (Luring or Enticing); section 1 of P.L.2005, c.77 (C.2C:13-8) (Human Trafficking); N.J.S. 2C:14-2 (Sexual Assault or Aggravated Sexual Assault); subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:14-3 (Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact); if the victim is a minor, subsection b. of N.J.S. 2C:14-3 (Criminal Sexual Contact); if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim, N.J.S.2C:13-2 (Criminal Restraint) or N.J.S. 2C:13-3 (False Imprisonment); N.J.S. 2C:15-1 (Robbery); N.J.S. 2C:17-1 (Arson and Related Offenses); subsection a. of N.J.S. 2C:24-4 (Endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child, or causing the child other harm); paragraph (4) of subsection b. of N.J.S. 2C:24-4 (Photographing or filming a child in a prohibited sexual act or for portrayal in a sexually suggestive manner); paragraph (3) of subsection b. of N.J.S. 2C:24-4 (Causing or permitting a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act or the simulation of an act, or to be portrayed in a sexually suggestive manner); subparagraph (a) of paragraph (5) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4 (Distributing, possessing with intent to distribute or using a file-sharing program to store items depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child); subparagraph (b) of paragraph (5) of subsection b. of N.J.S. 2C:24-4 (Possessing or viewing items depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child); section 8 of P.L.2017, c.141 (C. 2C:24-4.1) (Leader of a child pornography network); N.J.S. 2C:28-1 (Perjury); N.J.S. 2C:28-2 (False Swearing); paragraph (4) of subsection b. of N.J.S. 2C:34-1 (Knowingly promoting the prostitution of the actor’s child); section 2 of P.L.2002, c.26 (C. 2C:38-2) (Terrorism); subsection a. of section 3 of P.L.2002, c.26 (C. 2C:38-3) (Producing or Possessing Chemical Weapons, Biological Agents or Nuclear or Radiological Devices); and conspiracies or attempts to commit such crimes.
Prosecutors can always object to the expungement of a given offense if they believe that expungement would not serve the public interest. An objection under this catch-all could be anticipated in the case of one of the legislature’s illogical exclusions of certain serious offenses from this list. For example, carjacking is an expungeable offense. Robbery is not.
Our Legislature proscribes a potential 30 years prison sentence for carjacking, a first-degree crime. The maximum prison sentence for a second-degree robbery is 10 years. Robbery can also be a lesser included offense of carjacking. At the same time, our Legislature has consistently amended the expungement statutes over the past decade to permit greater leeway in the granting of expungement petitions.