While it is extremely rare that NJ legislators do anything that can be construed as favoring criminal defendants, that may just have happened last week when bill number A-1771 was signed into law. The legislation amends longstanding regulations regarding what can be expunged and the waiting period that must expire before a petition to expunge can be filed. New Jersey Expungement Attorneys and their clients will find these amendments extremely pleasing.
Under the new law, individuals who have been convicted of possession with intent to distribute controlled dangerous substances (“CDS”) are now eligible for expungement. Previously, the only distribution charges that could be expunged were those involving “young offenders” who sold marijuana. The expungement law now expands eligibility to include all Third Degree and Fourth Degree drug distribution convictions, even those involving heroin, cocaine, crack and prescription drugs.
Another significant change contained in the law involves the reduction of the waiting period for expungement of indictable (a.k.a. felony) offenses from ten (10) years to five (5) years.