In one of his final acts as Governor before leaving the position in January after 8 years in office, Chris Christie was able to sign three bills that will make it easier for ex-convicts in New Jersey to clear their records of minor crimes via an expungement, which in turn will help them going forward when applying for jobs. This legislation is seen as a positive step in trying to help ex-offenders who are looking to improve their lives to be able to receive a fresh start after paying their debt to society, and while there may still be more that needs to be done, this an extremely encouraging direction that the state is taking in order to help former criminals once again to be a productive member of society.
Expunging A Criminal Record Can Open Up New Opportunities
The bipartisan effort had support from both Republicans and Democrats alike, a surprising result considering the current political climate that is occurring all throughout the country. Both parties decided that the period of time before a criminal convicted of a minor offense could get it expunged from their record needed to be reduced, in addition, the spectrum of crimes that fall under this qualification were broadened out as well. It is clear to see the advantages this will give those that were not able to advance in their lives before these new laws were created, and one hopes that this will give those that have served their time a much fairer shot at a clean beginning.
Another aspect of this new legislation deals with employers, as going forward it makes the laws against employers asking about prior criminal history even stronger. By not allowing potential employers to ask if there was any criminal activity that was ever cleared from their record it makes the process much less stressful for those people who have had their records expunged yet who may still be worried about the possible consequences they may face in the future. Previously, employers were able to ask about prior criminal convictions even if it was not currently on the record, but with these new bills, this is no longer allowed.
New Jersey Expungements Lead To Benefits In Job Searches, Housing Searches, And More
A major reason that this legislation got bipartisan support is because members of both parties agree that people who commit minor offenses and who fulfill the punishment that they are given do not deserve to pay an eternal penalty for the rest of their life for these minor crimes. There are many obstacles that one faces when trying to look for a job even when they do not have a criminal record, it does not seem fair to add even more when the people who are looking only committed small offenses and are just trying to make a living for themselves or even their family. In the end, it helps nobody when someone is just left to live their life going in and out of the criminal justice system with no real chance to be able to better themselves. People deserve to be punished for the crimes they commit but in most cases, it does not have to be a life sentence.
Contact an Experienced Expungement Attorney In Morris County, NJ Today
With the ever-changing laws, it is important to have a knowledgeable attorney like James M. Porfido, Attorney at Law on your side to help guide you through the complicated process. Contact the Law Offices of James M. Porfido at (973) 370-9788 or via his online contact form today.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.