If you have a criminal conviction on your record, you may be eligible to have that record sealed through a legal process called an expungement. An expungement is a petition that is filed with the court on behalf of the individual seeking to clean his record. The petition must be in the proper form and comply with the rules as promulgated by the expungement statute. The process is paperwork intensive and requires a fairly substantial attention to detail.
Additionally, not everyone with a conviction on his record is eligible for an expungement. N.J.S.A. 2C:52-1 sets forth the requirements. The statute is confusing and the various subsections of the expungement statute mingle to produce some unusual and illogical results.
On many occasions I have spoken to potential clients who have attempted to file expungement petitions on their own. They have contacted me after having the petition denied for a procedural defect. This, of course, was after hours and hours toiling to complete the complicated paperwork and prepare all the mailing to the various agencies to be notified. This happens frequently.