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Legislation will help expunge criminal and juvenile charges

The governor of New Jersey recently made an announcement about legislation that will make it easier for those who have been in prison before to get a job. The bipartisan deal is a set of three bills designed to improve the chances that a former New Jersey inmates can get criminal and juvenile charges expunged from their records. These bills will strengthen the "ban the box" legislation from three years ago.

The current rules under ban the box require a company to complete a person's interview before they ask whether or not that person has a conviction on his or her record. The first of the new bills expands the language for those who have had a record expunged. The second of the new bills will cut down the time it takes to expunge a record from five to three years.

The third new bill makes changes to how criminal records are expunged. Up to four records can be expunged, or many can be if they happened within a short time period. Former inmates will be eligible for expungement in less time, six years instead of ten, as long as all requirements have been met. Courts can also decide if an expungement is appropriate at an earlier time.  There are also extensions concerning those convicted of certain crimes, including marijuana.

Aside from helping former drug addicts and criminals get jobs, these bills could also cut the cost of recidivism in New Jersey. Of course, for those who have been charged with a crime, it is ideal not to have a conviction on criminal or juvenile charges. This is why it is a good idea to consult with a criminal law attorney who can advise the accused on the best defense possible in his or her case.

Source: nj..com, "Christie announces deal on expunging criminal records, toughening 'ban the box'", Matt Arco, June 13, 2017

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