Bad Checks Expungement in New Jersey | N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5

If you are seeking a bad checks expungement in New Jersey, expungement eligibility will depend on whether you were convicted of a disorderly persons offense or a felony. 

N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5, the statute dealing with issuing or passing bad checks provides:

A person who issues [or passes] a check or similar sight order for the payment of money, knowing that it will not be honored by the drawee, commits an offense.

The nature of the offense committed will directly correlate to the cash value of the check or money order that you issued or passed. For example, if the check or money order was for less than $200, the offense would constitute a disorderly persons offense (or misdemeanor).  Alternatively, if the check or money order was for more than $200 but less than $1,000, the offense would qualify as a fourth degree crime. If the check or money order was for more than $1,000 but less than $75,000, it would constitute a third degree crime. Finally, if the check or money order was for more than 75,000, the offense would constitute a second degree crime.  Although the offense of bad checks is charged as either a felony or a disorderly persons offense, it is possible that the charge was reduced to a municipal ordinance conviction as a result of a plea negotiation. 

If Your Case Was Dismissed or You Entered into PTI

If your case was dismissed, then you are eligible for and can apply for an expungement immediately.  Moreover, if you entered into the Pretrial Diversion Program (PTI) in New Jersey Superior Court, you are eligible for expungement 6 months after the charges were dismissed. 

If Your Case Was Reduced to an Ordinance Violation

If your case was reduced to an ordinance violation, you will be eligible for expungement so long as you can satisfy the following requirements:

  • You have no felony convictions on your record;
  • You have no more than 2 disorderly persons convictions total; and
  • It has been at least 2 years since you finished your sentence.

Bad Checks Expungement in New Jersey | N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5

If You Were Convicted of the Disorderly Persons Offense for Passing Bad Checks

If you were convicted of the disorderly persons (or misdemeanor) offense of passing bad checks pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5, you will be eligible for expungement so long as you can satisfy the following requirements:

If you have never been convicted of a crime (felony):
  • You have no more than 3 disorderly persons convictions total; and
  • It has been at least 5 years since you finished your sentence for the bad checks conviction (note that you can, however, apply for an “early expungement” after 3 years).
 If you have been convicted of a crime (felony):
  • You have no more than one felony conviction;
  • You have no more than 2 disorderly persons convictions total; and
  • It has been at least 10 years since you finished your sentence for the most recent conviction – whether the felony or misdemeanor(s) (note that you can, however, apply for an “early expungement” 5 years after finishing your sentence for the most recent conviction).

If You Were Convicted of the Felony Offense for Passing Bad Checks

If you were convicted of second, third, or fourth degree felony offense for passing bad checks pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5, you will be eligible for expungement so long as:

  • You have no more than one felony conviction;
  • You have no more than 2 disorderly persons convictions total; and
  • It has been at least 10 years since you finished your sentence for the most recent conviction – whether the felony or misdemeanor(s) (note that you can, however, apply for an “early expungement” 5 years after finishing your sentence for the most recent conviction).

If You Are Unsure of Whether You Were Convicted of an Ordinance Violation, Disorderly Persons Offense, or a Felony

If you are unsure of whether you were convicted of an ordinance violations, a disorderly persons offense, or a felony, contact an expungement lawyer for assistance.  If your matter was resolved in a New Jersey Municipal Court, then you were most likely convicted of an ordinance violation or a disorderly persons offense.  If you are still unsure, however, and your matter was heard in a Superior Court in New Jersey, then you can either request a copy of your Judgment of Conviction and/or call the Criminal Records Division at the County Superior Court and ask a court staff member to pull up your record for you. 

Experienced, Affordable Expungement Attorneys

If you have questions regarding your bad checks expungement eligibility pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:21-5, contact the experienced New Jersey expungement attorneys at Katherine O’Brien Law today for a free consultation. 

We offer affordable expungements and will handle a basic expungement for only $695.00 (all inclusive).  We also offer flexible payment plans and can start working on your expungement with only $300.00 down.  Call us today for a free consultation at 856-832-2482 or fill out our Expungement Interview Form. 

Katherine O'Brien

Katherine O'Brien

New Jersey expungement lawyer Katherine North O’Brien has been practicing expungement law for her entire career and has handled hundreds of complex criminal record expungements. She has also assisted in the drafting of briefs on expungement issues before the New Jersey Supreme Court. Katherine is passionate about helping people clean their criminal records and, therefore, started Katherine O’Brien Law to offer those with criminal convictions a fresh start.