New Jersey’s 2016 revisions to their expungement statute and applications for expungements
Submitted by New Jersey Criminal Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark
On January 8, 2019 New Jersey Supreme Court takes an additional steps towards reforming the criminal justice system with this decision addressing New Jersey’s 2016 revisions to their expungement statute and applications for expungements for defendants who have successfully completed drug court.
Relying on the 2016 revisions to New Jersey is expungement statute, Justice Radnor ruled that successful drug court graduates, Who underwent rigorous monitoring testing and supervision during the course of their drug court participation, are entitled to a rebuttable presumption that the expungement of their record is in the public interest. This would satisfy the “public interest test “which the legislature incorporated into the 2016 expungement statute.
Nevertheless, the court did telegraph that the state and county prosecutors’ offices could make reference to the applicant’s character and conduct after their conviction and participation in drug court to try to rebut that presumption. Record also ruled that the expungement applicants were not required to provide all relevant transcripts and reports with their expungement application. Obviously having to find, purchase, and have delivered to the court all the transcripts and reports would be an onerous burden that applicants would be s substantial financially burden which flies in the face of the modified expungement statute and the ongoing criminal justice reform Justice Rabner, the New Jersey legislature and the lower courts have been moving towards in the last few years.