Governor Christie reduces eligibility time required for an expungement effective April 18, 2016 which allows many more immigrants to expunge minor offenses but ……. beware the difference between an expungement for criminal purposes and an expungement for immigration purposes.
The new law amends N.J.S.A. 2C:52-3 by providing an “early pathways” exception in N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2, the law provides that when a person is seeking the expungement of a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons conviction under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-3, the eligibility time standard is five years, or three years with a “public interest” finding, from the date of the conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, release from incarceration for that crime or for any disorderly persons offense, whichever is later.
Now, LPR and those on immigrant visa status have to be cautious prior to applying for an expungement of an offense or crime as even if granted the arrest and conviction are not expunged for immigration purposes and could end up costing you the opportunity to obtain a green card or become a United States citizen if done incorrectly.