The expungement of a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey is governed by N.J.S. 2C:52-3 which provides in pertinent part:
2C:52-3. Disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses
Any person convicted of a disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense under the laws of this State who has not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction, or of another three disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses, may, after the expiration of a period of 5 years from the date of his conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or release from incarceration, whichever is later, present a duly verified petition as provided in section 2C:52-7 hereof to the Superior Court in the county in which the conviction was entered praying that such conviction and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged.
As the aforementioned statute states, a defendant may expunge up to three (3) Disorderly Persons Offenses from their criminal record. However, a Defendant must satisfy three prerequisites: first, the Defendant cannot have a prior felony (indictable) conviction; secondly, the Defendant must satisfy the five (5) year statutorily mandated waiting period; lastly, the Defendant has satisfied all fines associated with the conviction(s).
Most Disorderly Persons Offenses are considered “minor” in nature and as a result most people often forget that these offenses are criminal convictions. A Disorderly Persons Offense conviction will remain on your criminal record until it is successfully expunged. These convictions can have major consequences later on in life, therefore, it is imperative to expunge your record as soon as you are eligible.