Fords, NJ asked in Criminal Law, Municipal Law and Probate for New Jersey

Q: How do I file for expungement following a conditional dismissal in NJ if i never received notification of dismissal?

I was arrested for a municipal ordinance violation in 9/2015 and granted a conditional dismissal in 12/2015. I was told the charges would be dropped as long as I did not get into additional legal trouble for one year. I met with a probation officer once (can't remember when, probably also in 12/2015 or sometime in early 2016) and that was it. It has been more than one year since my conditional discharge was supposed to expire and I have not gotten into any additional legal trouble. However I have not heard from the probation officer or the court. I am now looking to expunge my record, but am unsure what to put in the field where it asks for the date of dismissal, as I never received any formal notification that my charges were dismissed. What should I put in this field? Should I contact my probation officer or the court? Thank you for any help you can provide!

2 Lawyer Answers
H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • East Brunswick, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: You probably need to go to the court and get a certified disposition in most cases but you should not be doing this yourself, you should hire a lawyer to do this for you, or at least advise you on what is proper to be done.

Mr. Kenneth Albert Vercammen Esq.
Mr. Kenneth Albert Vercammen Esq.
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Edison, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: Conditional dismissal never applies to municipal ordinance

see 2C:43-13.1 Conditional Dismissal Eligibility and application.

1. Eligibility and Application. a. Whenever any defendant who has not been previously convicted of any petty disorderly persons offense, disorderly persons offense or crime under any law of the United States, this State or any other state, and who has not previously participated in conditional discharge under N.J.S.2C:36A-1, supervisory treatment under N.J.S.2C:43-12, or conditional dismissal under P.L.2013, c.158 (C.2C:43-13.1 et al.), is charged with a petty disorderly offense or disorderly persons offense except as provided in subsection b. of this section, the defendant may, after a plea of guilty or a finding of guilt, but prior to the entry of a judgment of conviction and with appropriate notice to the prosecutor, apply to the court for entry into the conditional dismissal program pursuant to the requirements of P.L.2013, c.158 (C.2C:43-13.1 et al.). As a condition of such application, the defendant shall submit to the fingerprint identification procedures as provided in R.S.53:1-15 before making such application to the court to allow sufficient time for verification of the defendant's criminal history by the prosecutor.

b. (1) A defendant shall not be eligible for participation in the conditional dismissal program if the offense for which the person is charged involved: (a) organized criminal or gang activity; (b) a continuing criminal business or enterprise; (c) a breach of the public trust by a public officer or employee; (d) domestic violence as defined by subsection a. of section 3 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-19); (e) an offense against an elderly, disabled or minor person; (f) an offense involving driving or operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug; (g) a violation of animal cruelty laws; or (h) any disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense under chapter 35 or 36 of Title 2C.

(2)Nothing in this act shall preclude a defendant charged with any disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense under chapter 35 or 36 of Title 2C from applying to the court for admission into the conditional discharge program in accordance with N.J.S.2C:36A-1.

c. In addition to the eligibility criteria enumerated in this section, the court shall consider the following factors:

(1)The nature and circumstances of the offense;

(2)The facts surrounding the commission of the offense;

(3)The motivation, age, character and attitude of the defendant;

(4)The desire of the complainant or victim to forego prosecution;

(5)The needs and interests of the victim and the community;

(6)The extent to which the defendant's offense constitutes part of a continuing pattern of anti-social behavior;

(7)Whether the offense is of an assaultive or violent nature, whether in the act itself or in the possible injurious consequences of such behavior;

(8)Whether the applicant's participation will adversely affect the prosecution of codefendants;

(9)Whether diversion of the defendant from prosecution is consistent with the public interest; and

(10) Any other factors deemed relevant by the court.

2C:43-13.2 Court approval of defendant's participation in conditional dismissal program.

2. Court Approval of Defendant's Participation in Conditional Dismissal Program. After considering the eligibility criteria set forth in section 1 of P.L.2013, c.158 (C.2C:43-13.1), the defendant's criminal history and the municipal prosecutor's recommendation, the court may, without entering a judgment of conviction, and after proper reference to the State Bureau of Identification criminal history record information files, approve the defendant's participation in the conditional dismissal program established pursuant to P.L.2013, c.158 (C.2C:43-13.1 et al.) ....

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