People make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes have legal consequences. Anyone who has ever been convicted of a crime in New Jersey can tell you how difficult it can be to get hired for a job with a criminal record. In New Jersey, under certain circumstances, people with criminal convictions can file for an expungement in order to have that conviction erased. An expungement removes and isolates all records on file with any court, any detention or correctional facility, law enforcement agency, or juvenile justice agency. If a judge grants an expungement petition, records regarding a person’s apprehension, arrest, detention, trial, conviction in the criminal justice system, disposition of delinquency in the juvenile justice system, or disposition in any related proceedings, are considered not to have occurred. Additionally, all complaints, warrants, arrests, commitments, processing records, finger prints, photographs, index cards, “rap sheets”, and judicial docket records shall also be expunged. For some people, this means a fresh start.
You’ve been arrested. The cops tried to interrogate you, but you’re too smart for that. You gave them nothing, and asked for an attorney. You’re processed, thrown in a cell, and told you’ll be brought before a judge to have your bail set. Now that the exciting part is over, you have a little bit of time to think. What happens if the judge sets a high bail and I can’t afford to post it? What can an attorney do to help me at this point? These are good questions, and knowing the answers is very important, because my first priority is getting you out of jail, and understanding how bail and bail motions work can help ease your anxiety at this stage of the process.