Many New Jersey arrests and convictions can be expunged. Following expungement, disqualifications arising from criminal convictions are removed. Record searches from the courts and from law enforcement agencies will report, "No Record." The person whose records have been expunged becomes entitled to legally state that the arrest or conviction never happened. Disqualifications otherwise imposed by New Jersey statutes are removed. And persons who reveal the existence of expunged records can be prosecuted in court.

It is not only criminal arrests and convictions that can be expunged. Many mental health commitments can also be expunged. Expungement of mental health commitments removes federal and New Jersey disqualifications relating to purchase and possession of firearms.

Expungement of criminal arrests and convictions is a laborious process. Arrest records and court records must be obtained. Those records must be analyzed to determine whether New Jersey statutes even allow their expungement. If expungement of those records is allowed, information from those records must be written onto an expungement "Petition." The Petition must be signed and notarized. The applicant must prepare two forms of Order, to be signed by a judge. The signed and notarized Petition, along with the forms of Order, must be forwarded to the court, for review and filing. The filed papers must then be "served" on various government agencies. The applicant must then file papers with the court demonstrating that the agencies were properly served.

One of the agencies that must be served is the county prosecutor for each county in which arrest or court proceedings occurred. If any of these prosecutors (or anyone else) objects to the expungement application, the applicant must deal with those objections, sometimes just in writing and, sometimes also, at a court hearing. If the expungement is granted, the applicant must serve the final Order for Expungement of Records on the same government agencies previously given notice.

Expungements are a major activity in the Law Offices of Allan Marain. Allan Marain, himself, is a highly regarded expungement practitioner by the New Jersey bar. He obtains expungements on a regular basis in counties throughout New Jersey, from Warren and Sussex Counties in the north, to Atlantic and Cape May Counties in the south. Allan presents lectures to New Jersey lawyers in expungement seminars throughout the State. Lawyers attending these lectures obtain Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits. On two occasions, the monthly magazine of the New Jersey State Bar Association has published expungement articles that Allan has written.

Allan has a separate web site that devotes itself exclusively to expungements. The site discusses expungement of crimnal recors as well as records of mental health commitments. That site is Persons seeking expungement of criminal arrests or convictions, or expungement of mental health commitments, should visit that site for extremely helpful information.

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