In the Matter of the Expungement Application of A.T.

Appellate Docket No.: A-509-18

Decided January 8, 2020

Submitted by New Jersey Criminal Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark

In a published opinion, the Appellate Division of New Jersey affirmed the denial of an expungement for an offense in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a), endangering the welfare of a child, even if the offense is non sexual.

In A.T., on June 12, 2017, Petitioner was arrested in 2003 and charged with “luring, enticing a child by various means,”  N.J.S.A. 2C:13-6; aggravated sexual assault,  N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(a)(2); endangering the welfare of a child,  N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a); and conspiracy to commit aggravated sexual assault,  N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2. Petitioner pleaded guilty to the child endangerment count for serving alcohol to a minor and was sentenced to three years’ probation, fines and penalties. The other charges were dismissed.

Petitioner also was arrested in 2003 for simple assault causing bodily injury,  N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a)(1). Petitioner pleaded guilty to the amended charge of violating a borough ordinance and was fined.

Petitioner filed a petition in 2017 to expunge both of these convictions. It was amended to include a guilty plea in 2007 to violation of a local loitering ordinance.     The prosecutor opposed petitioner’s expungement application, arguing the conviction for child endangerment under  N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a) could not be expunged. The petition was denied on August 27, 2018, and later, under Rule 2:5-1(b), the court amplified its reasons.

Petitioner appealed, and the Appellate Division, in a published case, found that the statutory intent was to prohibit the expungement of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a), even for non sexual conduct, if that conduct resulted in the harm of a child.

If you or someone you know has a criminal conviction you want to expunge, contact the experienced attorneys at Hark & Hark today. We offer payment plan options to clients financially incapable of providing full payment upfront. Please call for a free consultation. At Hark & Hark, we represent clients for any case in any county in New Jersey Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, and Warren County.

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Jeffrey Hark is a New Jersey Civil and Criminal Lawyer.

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