Expunging a Criminal Record in New Jersey: Key Things to Note.

Expunging a Criminal Record in New Jersey: Key Things to Note.

You have committed a crime. You were arrested or convicted for it. Relax, you can still have a clean slate by erasing your criminal record. Record expungement is making your criminal past or arrest record vanish and hidden from public eye.
In New Jersey, your crime record can be erased or sealed from the file within any court, detention or correctional facility, law enforcement, criminal or juvenile justice agency.
The effect of having your record expunged is as though the events never happened. Hence, under the law, you may say you’ve never been charged with or convicted of such crime.

The New Jersey Statutes

The New Jersey expungement law generally provides for the rules guiding expungement procedures in New Jersey. Among other things, it states in detail who and what class of crime is eligible for an expungement.
It is largely referred to as The New Jersey Statutes. If you require an expungement, you should look at the laws. This can be done with or without the aid of an attorney.

Before you file a petition

If you require an expungement, you must be sure you are eligible for one. The New Jersey statutes, Sections 2C: 52-1 through 2C: 52-32 contains the current applicable provisions on eligibility.
Once you are sure you are eligible, you must prepare and file a Petition for expungement. You must file your Petition for expungement in the Superior Court in the county where you were arrested or prosecuted. A judge then decides whether or not you should be granted an expungement order.

Two Clear-cut Instances for expungement

• Arrest & Detention (without Conviction): If you were arrested or detained but not convicted of a crime, you may file a petition for expungement on two grounds;
I. Dismissal of proceedings (If the proceedings against you were dismissed). However, if the dismissal was upon the completion of a supervisory treatment program, you MUST wait for a period of 6 months to file a petition for expungement.

II. Discharge or acquittal (If you were acquitted or discharged without any guilt found). However, if the discharge or acquittal was on the ground of lack of mental ability or of insanity, you cannot expunge your record.

• Conviction: If you were convicted of a certain class of crime, the law in New Jersey allows for expungement after you have successfully completed your sentence and waiting period.
The required waiting period based on the type of crime for which you were convicted includes;
I. Indictable offences: for indictable offences, you are ordinarily supposed to wait for 10 years. The New Jersey expungement laws which will be effective from October 1, 2018 reduces it to 6 years.
Nonetheless, you may file your petition once its 5 years and you may have it granted, if the court is satisfied that allowing expungement is in the interest of the public.
II. Municipal ordinance violations: If you were convicted for violation of a municipal ordinance, you can file for expungement after waiting for 2 years.
III. Disorderly person offences: If you were convicted for a disorderly person offence, the ordinary waiting period is 5 years.
IV. Minor drug offences: If you are a first-time criminal less than 21 year of age, you can go ahead to petition for expungement after waiting for a whole year.

Criminal records exempted from expungement

In New Jersey, all criminal record can be expunged once you fulfil the conditions. However, some classes of crimes have been exempted from criminal expungement.
Hence, you will not get a clean slate if you were convicted for any offence belonging to these classes.
• Most motor vehicles offences
• Indictable offences listed in Section 2C: 52-2 of the New Jersey Statutes. They are;
I. Serious drug crimes
II. Crimes of public officials
III. Murder and Kidnapping.
IV. Sex crimes
V. False imprisonment
VI. Robbery
VII. Child endangerment
VIII. Arson and others.
• Apart from the above, the court can also refuse to grant your petition for expungement if you have exceeded the allowable number of convictions or if your petition is wrongly filed.

Filing a petition for expungement

Your petition for expungement should be carefully handled. This is because a wrongly filed petition is enough ground for denial. For diligent filing, you should pay attention to the flowing steps.
• Have Your Records Handy: To prepare your expungement petition, you will be required to have some of the following information. They include;
i. Date of your arrest (as an adult) or the date you were taken into custody (as a juvenile)
ii. The statute(s) and the offense(s) you were arrested for, taken into custody as a juvenile, convicted or adjudicated delinquent.
iii. The specific punishment or other disposition. The date of the disposition (could be the date of the conviction or adjudication of delinquency, date of not guilty verdict or date of dismissal).
iv. The original indictment, accusation, summons, docket number, warrant number or complaint number. You are to include all, if more than one.
You can obtain the information through the county prosecutor, your attorney (If you had one when you were arrested or taken into custody), the county Criminal Case Management Office (where you were arrested or convicted) or the Superior Court Family Division Office in the county when you were arrested (where you were taken into custody).
However, if you do not have the necessary records handy, you are to request State police criminal history record (fingerprint check).
• Complete Applicable Forms: With the information you have handy, you are to complete the following forms
i. Petition for Expungement.
ii. Order for Hearing
iii. Expungement Order.
• File and Serve the completed Forms: You should note that a filing fee of about $52 is charged. Most offices do not accept personal cheques, so you should include a money order or certified cheque made out to the Treasurer, State of New Jersey
• Distribute the Filed Copies: You are to distribute each copy of the filed forms mailed back to you marked “Filed” and assigned a “Docket Number to each of the applicable agencies using a certified mail.
• Go to the Hearing: Not all counties require you to appear for the hearing. However, if your appearance is required, you are to arrive at the court on your assigned hearing date about 15 minutes early with your copies of the filed Petition for expungement, the expungement Order.
Remember to inform the clerk you are here.
• Distribute Your Finalized Expungement Order: Immediately after you receive a copy of the expungement Order signed by the judge and stamped “Filed” by the court. You are to mail a copy of the expungement Order (using a certified mail) alongside the return receipt requested, to each of the appropriate agencies.
Your criminal expungement process in New Jersey, like in California and other Jurisdictions can take about 90-120 days to be resolved. The difference in time is accounted for by several factors.
Contact a criminal law attorney
After the deed is done, tidying up your criminal record can be tricky as explained above. For your doubts on eligibility, chances of success or for advice on your personal situation as regards expunging your criminal records in New Jersey, you should get legal help by contacting a qualified criminal law attorney.
This will assist you to better understand the law and how to deal with filing of the necessary papers.

How sick do you have to be to win Social Security Disability benefits?

How sick do you have to be for SSDI?

I’m a Social Security Disability attorney, and I get this question a lot. People send me comments on YouTube, or they send me emails, and they describe various physical or mental health conditions and say, “Am I sick enough? Am I ill enough? Is my condition serious enough for me to win?”

Of course, every case is going to be looked at case by case, but let me just say it this way. We have to start by understanding how Social Security defines disability. It’s the inability to engage in what is called substantial gainful activity, or really, any kind of full time work, because of a medically determinable condition or conditions that has lasted, or is expected to last, 12 consecutive months, or result in death. I will tell you that, one of the things, again, about the definition, there’s a duration requirement. It’s got to be 12 consecutive months.

What do judges look for?

Very difficult to win based on the thought that your condition could be disabling or could keep you out of work for 12 consecutive months. Normally, what judges look for, and certainly the adjudicators at the state agency level, they look for people who’ve been out of work for at least 12 consecutive months. Knowing that there’s a duration requirement, if you have a condition that is likely to improve, then you’re going to have a problem winning disability benefits, and in fact, Social Security has changed the number of the listings.

I’m going to do another video about this, but in the endocrine listing, there’s a number of conditions — hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism — that used to be listing level, and they changed it and made it non-listing level, meaning that you can’t win without going through the whole hearing process, basically, because the Social Security has determined that these conditions now are medically treatable and manageable, certainly to allow you to return to work within 12 months.

Again, if you have a condition, somebody wrote me the other day, “I have severe endometriosis.” Well, again, that’s a condition that doesn’t necessarily say it’s going to last 12 consecutive months. It might, but there’s certainly a possibility with treatment that it might not. While Social Security cannot require that you have surgery, your condition needs to be serious enough where it’s, at least, let’s call it, semi-permanent. I think the duration requirement’s a big issue.

The second thing is, how serious is it? Is it something that’s going to keep you from working? Again, there are certain conditions that are going to cause mild impairment. They’re going to be uncomfortable, and for vocational purposes, as vocational witnesses will testify, that if you have a mild level of pain, and that would be maybe a three or four on a 10-point scale, you can still do simple, entry-level type of repetitive work. It would not allow for something where you have to do a lot of analysis or decision-making, but if you’re doing the same, repetitive type of thing over and over, you can be uncomfortable. You can have a certain level of depression, but you’ve got to go more than that if you want to win disability.

What do I, an experienced Social Security Disability Attorney, look for?

Some of the things that I look for when I’m evaluating cases would be a condition that causes you to have to take frequent bathroom breaks — IBS, Crohn’s, colitis, that sort of thing — or even some sort of other gastrointestinal issues. Interstitial cystitis could be one, where you’ve got to go to the bathroom frequently, because vocational witnesses will testify, almost without exception, that if you have to take a bathroom break once an hour, that is too much. No unskilled employer … No unskilled job supervisor’s going to let you take that many breaks.

I think if you have radiating pain into your arms or legs, that suggests a severe disc issue, and that would be, again, you’d want to have an MRI or a CT, some sort of objective evidence backing that up, but if you’ve got radiating pain, that’s kind of shorthand for a judge that you’ve got something really serious going on.

Diabetes that’s uncontrolled, and uncontrolled over time, because diabetes is one of these conditions that if you have really high blood sugar for two, three, four years, it’s going to start impacting organs, it’s going to affect your eyesight, it’s going to cause permanent nerve damage in your hands and feet, and again, if you testify that you have a hard time feeling your feet, or you can’t use your hands for fine motor manipulation, or you have blurred vision and you’ve had uncontrolled diabetes for two or three or four years, despite your best efforts to take medications and do what your doctor says, exercise and lose weight and so forth, a judge would likely believe that your diabetes is going to be disabling, and prevent you from being a reliable employee.

Circulatory system problems always, I think, give you a good shot at winning. Things like DVT, or anything related to blood pumping through your body, because again, these are conditions it’s hard to kind of work through that. You’re going to be fatigued. In the case of DVT or blood clots, you’re going to have to keep your legs extended. You can’t walk around very much, and again, that’s a practical problem when you’re trying to do an unskilled, entry level job. You’re not going to get any sort of accommodation, most likely, from your employer.

Heart problems are always strong cases. Congestive heart failure, problems with your heart pumping enough blood to keep your … where you have to keep your legs extended, that sort of thing. Cardiac issues, again, objectively determinable. You can take tests to see what’s going on there, and they don’t simply clear up on their own, so heart cases, serious heart problems, usually going to be winning cases.

Severe depression or PTSD, again, depression’s becoming more difficult. It’s got to be severe. What I look for would be in-patient hospitalizations, more than one, multiple suicide attempts, ongoing treatment, drug resistant, where you’ve tried multiple different drugs and you still cannot function in a normal fashion. But again, depression, you’ve got to have something more than just you’re taking medication for three or four years and you have crying spells periodically. I’m not minimizing, I’m just telling you that in this current climate, those cases just are not getting approved.

Obviously, MS, multiple sclerosis, where you’ve got interference with your ability to use your arms or your legs, those are strong cases.

You kind of get the sense that there’s obviously a lot more medical conditions that are winnable cases, but as you can see, there’s got to be something compelling in terms of your diagnosis. You’ve got to have objective evidence supporting that, and it’s got to be at a really, really serious level. The days where you could walk in and say, “I’m just in a lot of pain. I don’t really know why,” you’re not going to get approved. That’s why fibromyalgia, chronic, or I guess they used to call it chronic regional pain syndrome, that sort of thing, those are just much more difficult to win those cases nowadays.

Even conditions like lupus, or even HIV, which are somewhat manageable, and at times, can be difficult to win, unless you’ve got a lot of evidence supporting your contention that you would not be a reliable employee, so that’s really what I look at is a level of impairment or level of disease or disorder that is so severe, that there is extensive medical record, there’s objective medical evidence, and you’ve got really compelling testimony that you’ve tried your best to work through it, but you simply can’t.

That’s kind of a short answer to how sick do I have to be, how serious does my illness have to be, for me to win disability benefits.

I hope this helped

I hope you found this helpful. If you did, please give it a thumbs up on YouTube, like it on Facebook, and if you’ve not already done so, go to my website at ssdAnswers.com. Subscribe to my Free Secrets To Winning Disability Survival Kit. That’s a free download. If you have any questions, reach out to me through YouTube or Facebook. I’ll be happy to try to answer those, or prepare another video to answer your questions.

Until next time, this is Johnathan Ginsberg, wishing you the best. Thanks a lot.

Hi. This is Johnathan Ginsberg, and I hope you found this video helpful. If you’d like to know more about how to win your Social Security Disability case, I’d like to invite you to download my Secrets To Getting Approved Early Survival Kit that I created just for people like you. Currently, I’m making the Survival Kit available at no cost, and I encourage you to grab your copy now.

Some of the topics I cover include: how do I know if I have a case; is it the right time for me to file my claim; nine common mistakes that can doom your case; the three must-have arguments you use to win your case; and a topic that every disability claimant wants to know, how to avoid trick questions from the judge.

If you or a loved one need to win Social Security Disability benefits, you’ll find this Survival Kit essential reading. Download your Survival Kit right now and at no cost. Just visit ssdAnswers.com/survival, and sign up. It’s that easy. Please act now, and as always, I wish you the best.