Expungement of a Domestic Violence Offense vs. Vacating a Restraining Order in New Jersey
Conflict with a loved one or a person you thought you loved can be extremely stressful. If there is a record of an arrest or conviction for a domestic violence offense in your criminal history or a permanent restraining order against you that resulted from a domestic dispute in New Jersey, you are probably eager to clear your name and put the past behind you.
Erasing a domestic violence offense from your record and ending a restraining order require two different legal approaches. The arrest or conviction for a domestic violence offense like stalking, criminal trespass, simple assault, or harassment may be eligible for expungement from your record. On the other hand, a final restraining order (FRO) must be vacated by the court.
How to Expunge a Domestic Violence Arrest
Typically, there is a waiting period before you are eligible to apply for an expungement. However, if you were arrested for a domestic violence offense, but the charges against you were dismissed, you may apply for expungement immediately. This is true regardless of the degree of the offense.
The ability to expunge an arrest record is important because some employment and professional licensing applications will run a criminal background check on you and an arrest for assault, sexual assault, lewdness, stalking, or any other domestic violence offense will likely reflect poorly.
To file for an expungement, you will need to obtain court records about your case and submit a Petition for Expungement to the Superior Court in the county where you were arrested, along with all other necessary documents. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you to navigate this process, which can be complex.
How to Expunge a Domestic Violence Conviction
If you have been convicted of a domestic violence offense, the first and most important thing that you need to know if that there are certain crimes that are classified as domestic violence offenses which cannot be expunged. These offenses include kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, and aggravated criminal sexual contact.
If you were convicted of a domestic violence offense that is subject to expungement, the wait time to petition for expungement depends on whether you were convicted of a disorderly person offense or an indictable offense.
Simple assault, lewdness, criminal trespass, or harassment are disorderly persons offenses and require a 5 year wait period until you are eligible to petition for expungement of the conviction record. Beginning on October 1, 2018, if you are convicted of an indictable domestic violence offense like stalking or burglary, you must wait 6 years until you are eligible to petition for expungement. A new expungement law in New Jersey reduced the wait time for expungement of indictable offenses from 10 years to 6 years.
Vacating a Restraining Order: How to Remove an FRO in NJ
In New Jersey, a final restraining order (FRO) is permanent and can only be vacated by a court. In order to get an FRO vacated, you must make a motion to the court showing good cause. You will be scheduled for a hearing, known as a Carfagno hearing, where the court will consider the following factors: if the victim consents to lifting the FRO, if the victim fears the defendant, the relationship between the victim and defendant, defendant’s prior convictions for contempt for violating the FRO, defendant’s drug or alcohol abuse, defendant’s history of other violent acts, defendant’s age and health, whether defendant is in counseling, if victim is opposing defendant’s motion in good faith, whether there are restraining orders against defendant in other jurisdictions to protect the victim, and other relevant factors.
After a hearing, the court may decide to vacate the FRO, if they determine there is good cause to do so. The order will not completely remove all record of the restraining order. Your name will still be listed on the National Domestic Violence Registry, but the order itself will be lifted. This means you will no longer be subject to criminal charges for violation of a restraining order if you go near the other party or interact with them in any way.
Need to Erase Domestic Violence Restraining Order Records in New Jersey
Navigating the requirements of expunging a domestic violence arrest or conviction in New Jersey, and vacating a final restraining order can be complicated processes that require legal knowledge and experience to execute effectively. Criminal defense lawyer William C. Fay is available immediately to review your case and help you to finally move on with your life. Call 609-832-3202 or fill out our online form for a free consultation.
Conflict with a loved one or a person you thought you loved can be extremely stressful. If there is a record of an arrest or conviction for a domestic violence offense in your criminal history or a permanent restraining order against you that resulted from a domestic dispute in New […]
"William handled a matter for me and exceeded my expectations. He was excellent in
all areas of the law and achieved an outstanding result. Best of all,he demonstrates honesty and integrity. I
would highly recommend William and already have."
"I was so scared and nervous about my legal situation but Mr. Fay did an outstanding
job with my case!!! I was so relieved with the outcome and he worked so hard for me! He was so calm and
understanding and I’m so grateful for him. Thank you so very much for helping me! I am so grateful
"All Charges Dropped & Expunged"
"William defended me in my marijuana + paraphernalia case, he had all charges
dropped and expunged! Despite the fact I was long past conditional discharges/probation, etc. He has a sharp wit
and a bright future ahead of him as an attorney. Thanks again Will!"
"Mr. Fay is a fantastic lawyer. He helped me during a very stressful time in my
life. He was knowledgeable about my case and what my options were. He answered all my questions and was very
reassuring. He was there waiting for me at the entrance on my court date and made me feel at ease. He worked
with the prosecutor to reduce my charges. I got the best outcome I could have hoped for. I highly recommend Mr.
Fay if you need a lawyer."
"I was arrested and summoned to court for possession of marijuana, even though I
didn't have any on me. It was my first time getting in trouble and I was terrified and nervous. Mr. Fay came
into court prepared and was extremely assuring. He made it very clear that he was going to fight for my case
until the very end. He was extremely knowledgable about my case and the ways to resolve it. I would recommend
Mr. Fay to anyone who has gotten into trouble."
"Excellent lawyer. Highly recommended."
"Mr. Fay is extremely caring and knowledgeable. He took the time to explain the
entire process in a very clear manner and was a tremendous help during a stressful time. He was always available
to take a phone call and really showed that he cared about me and my case. I highly recommend Mr. Fay as an
"Great lawyer. Created a best possible outcome for my case."
"Amazing job, explains very clearly"
"He did a fantastic job on my case, making my penalty much less than I thought it
could possibly be. He clearly understands what he is doing and can explain everything in a way that anyone can
understand. Any questions I had were answered very clearly and he listened to all small details of my case."
Camden County Fentanyl Defense Lawyer Handling Charges for Possession and Distribution of Fentanyl throughout Southern New Jersey Fentanyl abuse is a national epidemic. The drug originated as a painkiller intended to be more powerful and shorter-lasting than morphine. Today, it is a popular painkiller for surgery, far more potent than […]
The intention to distribute or transport illegal drugs (controlled dangerous substances) on a grand scale, either nationwide or internationally, is drug trafficking. While possessing certain drugs in New Jersey is unlawful, possessing large quantities of illicit drugs may be evidence of an intent to sell illegal drugs. In other words, […]
You might mistake car burglary for a different crime, like theft. Burglary is a term most associated with house invasions but breaking into a car or a house is no different in the eyes of the law. The penalties are equally severe under New Jersey statute 2C:18-2. You could face […]
If you or someone you love has been charged with a criminal or DUI offense in New Jersey, finding the
answers you need to make informed decisions is critical. Complete our contact form to request your free
consultation or contact 609-832-3202
We are available 24/7 Nights and Weekends to Provide Free Consultations | Hablamos Español