Young Drug Offender

The New Jersey legislature created certain special expungement provisions for the expungement of drug offenses for individuals under twenty-one (21) years of age. The governing statute isN.J.S.A. 2C:52-5 which reads in pertinent part:

N.J.S.A.§ 2C:52-5. Expungement of records of young drug offenders

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 2C:52-2 and 2C:52-3, after a period of not less than one year following conviction, termination of probation or parole or discharge from custody, whichever is later, any person convicted of an offense under chapters 35 or 36 of this title for the possession or use of a controlled dangerous substance, convicted of violating P.L. 1955, c. 277, § 3, or convicted of violating P.L. 1962, c. 113, § 1, and who at the time of the offense was 21 years of age or younger, may apply to the Superior Court in the county wherein the matter was disposed of for the expungement of such person’s conviction and all records pertaining thereto. The relief of expungement under this section shall be granted only if said person has not, prior to the time of hearing, violated any of the conditions of his probation or parole, albeit subsequent to discharge from probation or parole, has not been convicted of any previous or subsequent criminal act or any subsequent or previous violation of chapters 35 or 36 of this title or of P.L. 1955, c. 277, § 3 or of P.L. 1962, c. 113, § 1, or who has not had a prior or subsequent criminal matter dismissed because of acceptance into a supervisory treatment or other diversion program.

This section shall not apply to any person who has been convicted of the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance or possession with the intent to sell any controlled dangerous substance except:

  1. Marihuana, where the total sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was 25 grams or less.
  2. Hashish, where the total amount sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was 5 grams or less.

Explanation of N.J.S.A. 2C:52-5

The above statute essentially requires the following elements for an expungement:

  • A conviction of possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS).
  • The individual was twenty-one (21) years of age or younger at the time of the offense.
  • The individual has never been convicted of any other crime.
  • A year has passed since the final resolution of the drug charge.

If you meet the above requirements then you are potentially eligible for an expungement in New Jersey. However, the charge is not expungeable if it was for distribution of a CDS or possession with intent to sell unless it was for distribution of less than 25 grams of marijuana or less than 5 grams of hashish. If you or a loved one is interested in obtaining an expungement of your drug offense, please contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at The Moriarty Law Firm by calling (732) 842-7773 or by email for a free initial consultation.

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