a. In all cases, except as herein provided, wherein a person has been convicted of a crime under the laws of this State and who has not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction, and has not been convicted of a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense on more than two occasions may, after the expiration of a period of 10 years from the date of his most recent conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration for that crime or for any disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense, whichever is later, present an expungement application to the Superior Court in the county in which the conviction for the crime was adjudged, which contains a duly verified petition as provided in N.J.S.2C:52-7 for the criminal conviction sought to be expunged, and may also contain additional duly verified petitions for no more than two convictions for any disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses, praying that the conviction, or convictions if applicable, and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged. The petition for each conviction appended to an application shall comply with the requirements set forth in N.J.S.2C:52-1 et seq.
Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding paragraph, a petition may be filed and presented, and the court may grant an expungement pursuant to this section, although less than 10 years has expired in accordance with the requirements of the preceding paragraph where the court finds:
(1) less than 10 years has expired from the satisfaction of a fine, but the ten-year time requirement is otherwise satisfied, and the court finds that the person substantially complied with any payment plan ordered pursuant to N.J.S.2C:46-1 et seq. , or could not do so due to compelling circumstances affecting his ability to satisfy the fine; or
(2) at least five years has expired from the date of his conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later; the person has not been convicted of a crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense since the time of the conviction; and the court finds in its discretion that expungement is in the public interest, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense, and the applicant's character and conduct since conviction.
In determining whether compelling circumstances exist for the purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection, a court may consider the amount of the fine or fines imposed, the person's age at the time of the offense, the person's financial condition and other relevant circumstances regarding the person's ability to pay.
Although subsequent convictions for no more than two disorderly or petty disorderly persons offenses shall not be an absolute bar to relief, the nature of those conviction or convictions and the circumstances surrounding them shall be considered by the court and may be a basis for denial of relief if they or either of them constitute a continuation of the type of unlawful activity embodied in the criminal conviction for which expungement is sought.
b. Records of conviction pursuant to statutes repealed by this Code for the crimes of murder, manslaughter, treason, anarchy, kidnapping, rape, forcible sodomy, arson, perjury, false swearing, robbery, embracery, or a conspiracy or any attempt to commit any of the foregoing, or aiding, assisting or concealing persons accused of the foregoing crimes, shall not be expunged.
Records of conviction for the following crimes specified in the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice shall not be subject to expungement: N.J.S.2C:11-1 et seq. (Criminal Homicide), except death by auto as specified in N.J.S.2C:11-5 and strict liability vehicular homicide as specified in section 1 of P.L.2017, c. 165 ( C.2C:11-5.3 ); N.J.S.2C:13-1 (Kidnapping); section 1 of P.L.1993, c. 291 ( C.2C:13-6 ) (Luring or Enticing); section 1 of P.L.2005, c. 77 ( C.2C:13-8 ) (Human Trafficking); N.J.S.2C:14-2 (Sexual Assault or Aggravated Sexual Assault); subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:14-3 (Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact); if the victim is a minor, subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:14-3 (Criminal Sexual Contact); if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim, N.J.S.2C:13-2 (Criminal Restraint) or N.J.S.2C:13-3 (False Imprisonment); N.J.S.2C:15-1 (Robbery); N.J.S.2C:17-1 (Arson and Related Offenses); subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:24-4 (Endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child, or causing the child other harm); paragraph (4) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4 (Photographing or filming a child in a prohibited sexual act or for portrayal in a sexually suggestive manner); paragraph (3) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4 (Causing or permitting a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act or the simulation of an act, or to be portrayed in a sexually suggestive manner); subparagraph (a) of paragraph (5) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4 (Distributing, possessing with intent to distribute or using a file-sharing program to store items depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child); subparagraph (b) of paragraph (5) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4 (Possessing or viewing items depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child); section 8 of P.L.2017, c. 141 ( C.2C:24-4.1 ) (Leader of a child pornography network); N.J.S.2C:28-1 (Perjury); N.J.S.2C:28-2 (False Swearing); paragraph (4) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:34-1 (Knowingly promoting the prostitution of the actor's child); section 2 of P.L.2002, c. 26 ( C.2C:38-2 ) (Terrorism); subsection a. of section 3 of P.L.2002, c. 26 ( C.2C:38-3 ) (Producing or Possessing Chemical Weapons, Biological Agents or Nuclear or Radiological Devices); and conspiracies or attempts to commit such crimes.
Records of conviction for any crime committed by a person holding any public office, position or employment, elective or appointive, under the government of this State or any agency or political subdivision thereof and any conspiracy or attempt to commit such a crime shall not be subject to expungement if the crime involved or touched such office, position or employment.
c. In the case of conviction for the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance or possession thereof with intent to sell, expungement shall be denied except where the crimes involve:
(1) Marijuana, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was 25 grams or less;
(2) Hashish, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was five grams or less; or
(3) Any controlled dangerous substance provided that the conviction is of the third or fourth degree, where the court finds that expungement is consistent with the public interest, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense and the petitioner's character and conduct since conviction.
d. In the case of a State licensed physician or podiatrist convicted of an offense involving drugs or alcohol or pursuant to section 14 or 15 of P.L.1989, c. 300 ( C.2C:21-20 or 2C:21-4.1 ), the court shall notify the State Board of Medical Examiners upon receipt of a petition for expungement of the conviction and records and information pertaining thereto.
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