If you want a criminal record expunged in New Jersey, the first step to take is to obtain a full report of your criminal history. There are a few methods that can be used to gather this necessary information. Generally, you can do one of four things: 1) contact the sentencing court for a final disposition, 2) get a fingerprint check with the New Jersey State Police, 3) conduct a FBI record search, and 4) consult an attorney for assistance.
If you saved the documents from your previous arrest or conviction, you may already have a copy of the final disposition – or summarized outcome – of your case. It is important to know all arrests, charges, and sentencing orders issued by a court. To get this, the New Jersey Judiciary has a records request form that must be filled out. This form must then be faxed or mailed to the appropriate Criminal Records Department, depending on the county. If you are requesting your own records, there is no fee involved. This process can be difficult if you have been arrested multiple times, as the procedures usually vary by court.
An individual may also obtain a criminal history record check via electronic live scan at an approved location. The New Jersey State Police use fingerprinting services provided by IdentoGo by MorphoTrust USA, a private company under contract with the State. You will need to contact MorphoTrust USA and schedule an appointment for fingerprinting, which can be done here. The fee for this service is $40.69, and the results of your record will be returned to you in about a week or two. This process can be inconvenient, and those that live out-of-state should contact the State Police directly for more information.
For a fee, the FBI can provide individuals with an Identity History Summary – or a criminal record – listing certain information taken from fingerprint submissions kept by the FBI. This search includes the arresting agency, the date of arrest, the arrest charge, and the disposition of the arrest. There are two options available for this search: 1) submit your request directly to the FBI; or 2) submit your request to an FBI-Approved Channeler. The first option involves completing an applicant information form, obtaining your fingerprints, paying the fee of $18.00, and mailing in the items. The second option has a similar procedure, except the request goes through an approved third party listed here. This process can be confusing, and could take up to twelve weeks to receive your record.
Finally, the best option to get a full New Jersey criminal record, if seeking to obtain an expungement or other court order, is to contact an attorney. Having an attorney skilled in such matters, you can be sure that your criminal record is obtained efficiently. Furthermore, if you are looking to get a record expunged in New Jersey, it is very important that you first have all the correct facts. An attorney’s representation will help you in getting the quickest and likely cheapest background check. Attorneys are skilled in handling various types of criminal cases, so consider the benefits of contacting our firm to handle your legal matters.