N.J.S.A. 2C:35-14. Drug Court Expungements

N.J.S.A. 2C:35-14. Drug Court Expungements:

m. (1) The Superior Court may order the expungement of all records and information relating to all prior arrests, detentions, convictions, and proceedings for any offense enumerated in Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes upon successful discharge from a term of special probation as provided in this section, regardless of whether the person was sentenced to special probation under this section, section 2 of P.L.2012, c.23 (C.2C:35-14.2), or N.J.S.2C:45-1, if the person satisfactorily completed a substance abuse treatment program as ordered by the court and was not convicted of any crime, or adjudged a disorderly person or petty disorderly person, during the term of special probation. The provisions of N.J.S.2C:52-7 through N.J.S.2C:52-14 shall not apply to an expungement pursuant to this paragraph and no fee shall be charged to a person eligible for relief pursuant to this paragraph. The court shall grant the relief requested unless it finds that the need for the availability of the records outweighs the desirability of having the person freed from any disabilities associated with their availability, or it finds that the person is otherwise ineligible for expungement pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection. An expungement under this paragraph shall proceed in accordance with rules and procedures developed by the Supreme Court.

(2) A person shall not be eligible for expungement under paragraph (1) of this subsection if the records include a conviction for any offense barred from expungement pursuant to subsection b. or c. of N.J.S.2C:52-2. It shall be the obligation of the prosecutor to notify the court of any disqualifying convictions or any other factors related to public safety that should be considered by the court when deciding to grant an expungement under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(3) The Superior Court shall provide a copy of the expungement order granted pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection to the prosecutor and to the person and, if the person was represented by the Public Defender, to the Public Defender. The person or, if the person was represented by the Public Defender, the Public Defender on behalf of the person, shall promptly distribute copies of the expungement order to appropriate agencies who have custody and control of the records specified in the order so that the agencies may comply with the requirements of N.J.S.2C:52-15.

(4) If the person whose records are expunged pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection is convicted of any crime following discharge from special probation, the full record of arrests and convictions may be restored to public access and no future expungement shall be granted to such person.

(5) A person who, prior to the effective date of P.L.2015, c.261, was successfully discharged from a term of special probation as provided in this section, regardless of whether the person was sentenced to special probation under this section, section 2 of P.L.2012, c.23 (C.2C:35-14.2), or N.J.S.2C:45-1, may seek an expungement of all records and information relating to all arrests, detentions, convictions, and proceedings for any offense enumerated in Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes that existed at the time of discharge from special probation by presenting an application to the Superior Court in the county in which the person was sentenced to special probation, which contains a duly verified petition as provided in N.J.S.2C:52-7 for each crime or offense sought to be expunged. The petition for expungement shall proceed pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-1 et seq. except that the requirements related to the expiration of the time periods specified in N.J.S.2C:52-2 through section 1 of P.L.1980, c.163 (C.2C:52-4.1) shall not apply. A person who was convicted of any offense barred from expungement pursuant to subsection b. or c. of N.J.S.2C:52-2, or who has been convicted of any crime or offense since the date of discharge from special probation shall not be eligible to apply for an expungement under this paragraph. In addition, no application for expungement shall be considered until any pending charges are disposed. It shall be the obligation of the prosecutor to notify the court of any disqualifying convictions or any other factors related to public safety that should be considered by the court when deciding to grant an expungement under this paragraph. The Superior Court shall consider the person’s verified petition and may order the expungement of all records and information relating to all arrests, detentions, convictions, and proceedings of the person that existed at the time of discharge from special probation as appropriate. The court shall grant the relief requested unless it finds that the need for the availability of the records outweighs the desirability of having the person freed from any disabilities associated with their availability, or it finds that the person is otherwise ineligible for expungement pursuant to this paragraph. No fee shall be charged to a person eligible for relief pursuant to this paragraph.

N.J.S.A. 2C:35-14.  This page has been updated in accordance with the revisions to New Jersey’s expungement laws, which took effect on April 18, 2016.