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Burlington County, NJ Law Blog

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Is It Possible to Clear Your Juvenile Record in New Jersey?

What is the process for having juvenile records expunged in New Jersey?

For the most part, New Jersey juvenile records are "safe" from public view. Having your records officially sealed or expunged will ensure their confidentiality. In general, a sealed or expunged juvenile record is almost like a clean slate. It's also a new start in that you are not required to share information about the record with anyone.

That being said, there are numerous circumstances in which a sealed or expunged juvenile record may be reopened. For example, if you are convicted of a subsequent offense, it may be possible that your sealed juvenile record may be visible to those previously allowed to view it.

Is your NJ juvenile record eligible for expungement?

  • Your record may be eligible for expungement or sealing if it has been two years since you were released from custody, supervision, or the provisions of a court order. In addition, you must not have been adjudicated delinquent or convicted of a crime or disorderly persons offense at any time in the two years between the original offense for which you're seeking expungement and your request for sealing. In other words, no juvenile or criminal matters may be pending against you.
  • Another way your record may qualify for expungement is through military enlistment. If you provide evidence to the court that you have been accepted by a military branch, in most cases your records will be eligible for sealing. However, the order to expunge your records will be lifted if you don't follow through with the enlistment.

New Jersey Statutes on Juvenile Court Record Expungements

If you were arrested but not ruled delinquent, your arrest record is generally eligible for sealing. However, if there was a plea bargain for dismissal or acquittal that resulted in additional adjudications, the records may not be eligible for sealing.

In order to expunge your entire juvenile record, five years must have passed since you were discharged from custody, supervision, or the provisions of a court order, and again, you must not have been ruled delinquent or convicted of an additional crime within that five-year period, some other conditions apply.

The juvenile law attorneys at the Burlington County law firm of Sitzler & Sitzler will determine whether your record qualifies for sealing or expunging in New Jersey. We are aggressive in our defense of juvenile cases. Call us today at 609-267-1101 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case and learn more about your options.


Monday, February 24, 2014

New Jersey Criminal Law Overview- Part II

We discussed numerous offenses classified as criminal law in our previous blog post, New Jersey Criminal Law Overview- Part I. Below, we've provided a brief outline of each of the remaining charges that exist under criminal law, which serves as a regulator of social conduct and serves a different purpose than civil law. While criminal law focuses on punishment for violating the law, civil law is more about victim compensation and the settlement of disputes.

Misdemeanor/Disorderly Person:  These crimes are considered less serious in nature than felonies. If the defendant is sentenced to jail, it is usually only for a maximum of one year. Other penalties, which may be referred to as alternative sentencing measures, include probation, community service, or fines.

Sex Offenses: Highly specific factors differentiate one type of sex-related offense from another, including the age of the victim, use of force or weapon and the relationship between the parties. Sex offenses include inappropriate touching, sexual battery and rape, all of which carry severe penalties and stigmatization. These cases are usually extremely sensitive in nature and the alleged victim and defendant are the only available witnesses a majority of the time, making it even more crucial for the defendant to seek experienced and compassionate counsel.

Theft: Although many people think a theft charge is the same thing as being charged with robbery or burglary, the three have very different meanings. All three are property crimes, but a theft charge strictly means a person is accused of stealing property, whereas robbery and burglary usually incur more serious consequences and adhere to more complex terms. The classification of the theft charge, whether it's a misdemeanor or a felony, depends on the value of the property taken. 

Traffic Violations: Court appearances, fines and forms are only part of the equation. Traffic violations carry expensive penalties- whether in the form of a hefty fine(s) or significant increase in your insurance premiums- this crime is certainly an ordeal. Finances aren't the only aspect of your life that may be negatively affected by traffic violations, you also risk having your driving privileges taken away.

Violent Crimes: Crimes which are considered violent in nature include, but are not limited to, assault, battery, homicide, illegal weapon possession, terroristic threats, domestic violence, kidnapping and carjacking.

Weapons Offenses: New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Charges include possession of prohibited weapons and devices, such as silencers, defaced firearms or sawed off shotguns, for example.

White Collar Crimes: These charges include securities, tax, mortgage or insurance fraud, as well as embezzlement and money laundering, among others. Criminal prosecution, negative publicity and financial devastation- those are just some of the possible consequences an individual accused of a white collar crime can face. Penalties for those found guilty of a white collar crime range from probation or fines to lengthy prison sentences.

Contact the law office of Sitzler & Sitzler if you have been accused of a criminal offense. We'll discuss your specific situation with you- at no cost. Schedule a free consultation by calling (609) 267-1101 today.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

New Jersey Criminal Law Overview- Part I

Criminal law encompasses a wide variety of charges- some being much more severely punishable by nature than others. Below, we provide explanations on some of the offenses that fall under this area of law. The Sitzler & Sitzler criminal defense attorneys represent clients facing criminal charges in the following areas:

Domestic Violence: Domestic violence may include harassment, assault, threats and sexual abuse. Here at Sitzler & Sitzler, we represent the plaintiff, the individual charging domestic violence, or the defendant, the one charged with domestic violence.

Drug Crimes: Punishment for these offenses vary greatly according to the seriousness of the crime. Whether the defendant is brought up on a misdemeanor charge or something as serious as a multi-jurisdictional federal felony is contingent on the specific nature of each drug crime. Alternative sentencing, such as rehabilitation, is a possible avenue your attorney may want to explore if you're charged with a drug crime.

DUI/DWI Defense: The consequences of being arrested and charged with drunk driving or driving under the influence (DUI) can be severe. Those charged with such a crime may lose their driver’s license and/or have to pay heavy fines as a result of convicted. Being sentenced to jail is even a possibility. Convictions remain on your permanent criminal record and can have a negative impact on future employment possibilities. The attorneys at Sitzler & Sitzler will use their knowledge of sobriety tests and law enforcement protocol to launch a comprehensive defense against the DWI charges you face. 

Expungements: New Jersey law determines who is eligible for an expungement. The state's expungement laws provide for the clearing of certain juvenile and adult criminal records.

Federal Cases: Defense of this charge differs greatly from state criminal defense, as the federal court process usually requires Grand Jury procedure- something that is not usually part of state prosecutions. Federal sentencing is also very different from the state. Our criminal defense attorneys have the knowledge and experience to aggressively fight your federal case in order to obtain the most favorable outcome possible.

Felonies/Indictable Charges: The severity of the charge and maximum punishment for the crime are the determining factors for whether a crime is classified as a felony/indictable charge or a misdemeanor. Indictable charges are only appropriate for society's most serious crimes, including rape, manslaughter and aggravated assault, for example.

Homicide: Criminal Homicide is defined as murder, manslaughter, or death by auto. A person is guilty of criminal homicide if they purposely, knowingly, recklessly or under the circumstances set forth in section 2C:11-5 (death by auto), cause the death of another human being, according to New Jersey's definition of homicide.

Juvenile Matters: These cases occur when a minor- an individual under age 18- violates the law. Juvenile cases bring a set of complex factors into play, such as accountability and rehabilitation, due to the young age of the defendant.

If you have been brought up on criminal offense charges and live in Burlington County, New Jersey or the surrounding area, don't hesitate to contact us at (609) 267-1101 to schedule a free consultation


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Welcome

Welcome to our new website, please check back periodically for updates and new blog posts.

-Sitzler and Sitzler Team


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Hiring an attorney is an important decision which should not be based solely on advertising. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Please call the office at (609) 267-1101 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your matter. Same day consultations are available. We are available for detention hearings in every county in South Jersey. Detention hearings are normally scheduled with in forty-eight (48) hours of an arrest that resulted in immediate incarceration.

We handle every type of criminal and traffic offense in the Federal Court, the Magistrate Court (military matters); the State Courts (superior court), the Municipal Courts located in townships, cities and boroughs within the counties of Burlington, Camden, Ocean, Gloucester, Atlantic, Cumberland, Salem, Cape May, and Mercer.



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