In a unique move to address the rising opioid crisis and address a long-held sense of unfairness in the criminal justice system when it comes to drug charges, New Jersey governor Chris Christie recently signed a package of legislation modernizing the state’s system for expunging a number of criminal offenses.
The three bills in the package authorized by the governor include:
- Senate Bill 3306, which strengthens New Jersey’s existing “Ban the Box” law prohibiting employers from asking job candidates about their criminal history. Employers are additionally prohibited from asking whether a candidate has had any criminal records expunged.
- Senate Bill 3307, which changes the procedures for expungement. Under the new law, petitioners can request to expunge additional offenses within a short time frame, reduces the waiting period for expungement, and revises expungement and sentencing statutes so that they align with one another.
- Senate Bill 3308, which moves up the timeframe for young adults to expunge their juvenile record, making it easier for them to put a youthful mistake behind them and prepare for a productive adult life.
These bills offer needed changes to a system that excludes many people from meaningful participation in work or civic life due to a long-ago mistake. Nevertheless, expungement processes can be complex. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney to understand your options can help – and an experienced lawyer should always be your first call if you find yourself facing criminal charges.
New Jersey criminal defense attorney Michele Finizio can help you understand the charges you face and fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Contact our office today at 609.230.0374 for a free, confidential consultation.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.