Most people understand why a violent crime cannot be expunged, even if it doesn’t seem particularly fair in all circumstances. However, many people wonder why a DWI can’t be expunged, especially when the conviction involved no property damage or the death or injury of any person.
Under New Jersey law, a DWI arrest is technically a motor vehicle offense and not a “crime.” The good news is that because a DWI is not categorized as a crime, it does not usually show up when someone runs a criminal background check. Essentially, details of the arrest and conviction are never submitted to the National Crime Information Center, which maintains a criminal record database. Unless someone specifically performs research in the records of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, the arrest is likely to go undiscovered.
Accordingly, having a DWI on a driving record in New Jersey probably won’t present as many problems as having a criminal record might. It’s possible that someone who was convicted of a DWI might never be bothered by that fact when they apply for a loan or try to rent an apartment. However, it’s important to understand that some employment opportunities might be barred, such as those that require a commercial driver’s license or a clean driving record.
New Jersey is not alone in excluding DWI arrests and convictions from expungement. In fact, this is fairly common in the U.S. However, expungement laws can and do get changed from time to time. This happened in 2010 when Governor Christie made third and fourth degree drug offenses eligible for expungement. The new law also somewhat relaxed the firm 10 year waiting period to request expungement down to five years in some instances. Clearly, reform of expungement laws in New Jersey can and does happen. Expungement Attorney in Albuquerque
Everyone makes mistakes. It goes without saying that even a minor crime committed far in the past can have serious life consequences. Getting an expungement can be a time consuming and complicated process.
Anyone who was convicted of a crime is likely to have questions about whether or not their record can be cleared. Although the law prevents expungement of certain categories of crimes, it’s possible to have other records removed. Doing so is relatively complicated and requires the advice of a qualified expungement attorney. Anyone who is hoping to expand their future potential for education, employment and home ownership should call an expungement attorney to learn more.
Thankfully, the law allows certain people who previously made mistakes to apply to have their record “expunged.” This is a very technical process and one which requires the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney who can guide you through this complex and difficult the process, from explaining your potential eligibility (i.e., whether you meet the statutory criteria for expungement, to filing the many necessary and complicated forms, to appearing with you in court to argue your case before a judge.