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After 18 Years, Expungement Gives New Jersey Man a Fresh Start

Whether because of poor judgment, lack of guidance or simple inexperience, many people make mistakes in their youth that cause them embarrassment and regret for the rest of their lives. For some, these mistakes cross the line from mere recklessness to criminal behavior punishable by time in juvenile detention facilities and even jails and prisons, depending on the age of the offender. Prior to a recent state Superior Court case, the effects of such youthful brushes with the law were more long-lasting than many ever imagined.

Expungement opens closed doors

The case above involved a man who had been arrested several times as a minor and once at the age of 22 for burglary and receiving stolen property. After a rough start, he turned his life around and stayed on the straight-and-narrow with no subsequent arrests. Like many others with criminal convictions on their records, the man waited the requisite statutory period, 10 years in his case, and then sought to have his record expunged, a procedure in which the court extracts criminal records, leaving an individual’s record virtually spotless. Among other benefits, expungement prevents employers from seeing an applicant’s previous criminal record during routine background checks, which may weigh heavily on potential employers’ minds as they make critical hiring decisions.

Limitations on expungement

While expungement is a boon to eligible applicants, limits on the process bar certain individuals from obtaining it. In the aforementioned case, the lower court denied expungement because it held that the applicant’s juvenile misdeeds could have been classified as criminal offenses had he committed them as an adult. On appeal, the court disagreed and mandated that juvenile convictions should not in fact be treated as adult convictions for purposes of expungement. After 18 long years, the man was able to finally put the indiscretions of his youth behind him.

To assess your options, call one of Hoffman DiMuzio’s criminal defense lawyers for help beginning the expungement process today.

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Joseph J.  Hoffman, Jr. Attorney Photo
Joseph J. Hoffman, Jr.
Senior Partner

For more than 40 years, Mr. Hoffman has protected the interest of his clients through diligence and hard work on legal matters, both large and small. An honors graduate of Rutgers University Law School and a native of Gloucester County, Mr. Hoffman has won numerous accolades for excellence in the practice of law.

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Kenneth A. DiMuzio, Sr.
Senior Partner

An attorney with over 45 years of professional experience, Mr. DiMuzio concentrates his practice on personal injury and workers’ compensation matters. A graduate of Georgetown University Law School and a native of Gloucester County, Mr. DiMuzio has been honored time and again for his professionalism and ethics in the practice of law.

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Ernest L. Alvino, Jr.
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About Ernest L. Alvino, Jr. concentrates his practice in the area of workplace injuries; construction accidents; product injuries; trucking accidents; auto injuries; medical negligence and crime victim advocacy. Ernie is a lifelong Gloucester County resident, living in Mullica Hill with his wife and children. Ernie worked his way through school as a Teamster and construction…

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Jeremiah J. Atkins
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About Mr. Atkins joined the firm of Hoffman DiMuzio in February 2010. Mr. Atkins represents individuals and corporate clients in commercial and employment litigation. Mr. Atkins’ practice covers a wide variety of employment-related matters before New Jersey State and Federal courts, with a focus on discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, family leave and whistleblowing claims. Mr.…

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Peter J. Bonfiglio, III
Attorney

About Mr. Bonfiglio concentrates his practice in the area of municipal court with an emphasis on defense of individuals charged with driving while intoxicated and/or refusal to submit to a breath test. Pete resides in Gloucester Township, Camden County with his wife and two of his three children.  In addition to his law practice, he…

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