ASSEMBLY, No. 4456

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JANUARY 10, 2017

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  MARLENE CARIDE

District 36 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Directs automatic expungement of records for persons arrested or held to answer for criminal charges resulting from mistaken identity or unlawful use of personal identifying information by another.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act concerning the automatic expungement of certain criminal offense records and amending N.J.S.2C:52-6.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

1.      N.J.S.2C:52-6 is amended as follows:

2C:52-6.  Arrests not resulting in conviction.

     a.     [When]  Except as provided in subsection e., when a person has been arrested or held to answer for a crime, disorderly persons offense, petty disorderly persons offense, or municipal ordinance violation under the laws of this State or of any governmental entity thereof and proceedings against the person were dismissed, the person was acquitted, or the person was discharged without a conviction or finding of guilt, the Superior Court shall, at the time of dismissal, acquittal, or discharge, or, in any case set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection, upon receipt of an application from the person, order the expungement of all records and information relating to the arrest or charge.

     (1)   If proceedings took place in municipal court, the municipal court shall provide the person, upon request, with appropriate documentation to transmit to the Superior Court to request expungement pursuant to procedures developed by the Administrative Office of the Courts. Upon receipt of the documentation, the Superior Court shall enter an ex parte order expunging all records and information relating to the person's arrest or charge.

     (2)   The provisions of N.J.S.2C:52-7 through N.J.S.2C:52-14 shall not apply to an expungement pursuant to this subsection and no fee shall be charged to the person making such application.

     (3)   An expungement under this subsection shall not be ordered where the dismissal, acquittal, or discharge resulted from a plea bargaining agreement involving the conviction of other charges.  This bar, however, shall not apply once the conviction is itself expunged.

     (4)   The Superior Court shall forward a copy of the expungement order to the appropriate court and to the prosecutor.  The prosecutor shall promptly distribute copies of the expungement order to appropriate law enforcement agencies and correctional institutions who have custody and control of the records specified in the order so that they may comply with the requirements of N.J.S.2C:52-15. 

     (5)   An expungement related to a dismissal, acquittal, or discharge ordered pursuant to this subsection shall not bar any future expungement.

     b.    When a person did not apply for an expungement of an arrest or charge not resulting in a conviction pursuant to subsection a. of this section, the person may at any time following the disposition of proceedings, present a duly verified petition as provided in N.J.S.2C:52-7 to the Superior Court in the county in which the disposition occurred praying that records of such arrest and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged. No fee shall be charged to the person for applying for an expungement of an arrest or charge not resulting in a conviction pursuant to this subsection.

     c.     Any person who has had charges dismissed against him pursuant to a program of supervisory treatment pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-12, or conditional discharge pursuant to N.J.S.2C:36A-1, or conditional dismissal pursuant to P.L.2013, c.158 (C.2C:43-13.1 et al.), shall be barred from the relief provided in this section until six months after the entry of the order of dismissal.

     d.    Any person who has been arrested or held to answer for a crime shall be barred from the relief provided in this section where the dismissal, discharge, or acquittal resulted from a determination that the person was insane or lacked the mental capacity to commit the crime charged.

     e.  (1)  If any person is arrested or held to answer for a crime, disorderly persons offense, petty disorderly persons offense, or municipal ordinance violation under the laws of this State or of any governmental entity thereof as a result of mistaken identity, or, as a result of another person using the personal identifying information of the person arrested or charged, in violation of N.J.S.2C:21-1, section 1 of P.L.1983, c.565 (C.2C:21-2.1) or N.J.S.2C:21-17 and the charge is dismissed, the prosecutor or other judicial officer or law enforcement agency who ordered the dismissal shall provide notice to the court of the dismissal, and the court shall order the expungement from all official records any entries relating to the person's apprehension, or charge.

     (2)  If any person is arrested or held to answer for a crime, disorderly persons offense, petty disorderly persons offense, or municipal ordinance violation under the laws of this State or of any governmental entity thereof as a result of mistaken identity, or, as a result of another person using the personal identifying information of the person arrested or charged, in violation of N.J.S.2C:21-1, section 1 of P.L.1983, c.565 (C.2C:21-2.1) or N.J.S.2C:21-17 and a finding of not guilty is entered or the conviction is set aside, the court shall order the expungement from all official records, including court records, any entries relating to the person's apprehension, charge, or trial.

     (3)  The Department of Corrections and any other applicable State or local government agency shall expunge its records and reverse any administrative actions taken against a person whose record is expunged under this section as a result of the charges or convictions expunged.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the fee for any reinstatement of a license or privilege resulting under this section shall be waived.

     (4)  For purposes of this section, the term "mistaken identity" means the erroneous arrest of a person for a crime as a result of misidentification by a witness or law enforcement, confusion on the part of a witness or law enforcement as to the identity of the person who committed the crime, misinformation provided to law enforcement as to the identity of the person who committed the crime, or some other mistake on the part of a witness or law enforcement as to the identity of the person who committed the crime.

     The provisions of N.J.S.2C:52-7 through N.J.S.2C:52-14 shall not apply to an expungement pursuant to this subsection and no fee shall be charged to a person eligible for relief.

(cf: P.L.2015, c.261, s.4)

 

     2.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     At present, N.J.S.A. 2C:52-6, in the expungement statute, permits a person who has been arrested or held to answer for a criminal offense to apply to the Superior Court for an expungement of all records and information relating to the arrest or charge, when proceedings against the person are dismissed, the person was acquitted or the person was discharged without a conviction or a finding of guilt.

     This bill would direct the automatic expungement of all records and information relating to the arrest or charge of such persons if the person was arrested or held to answer for the criminal offense as a result of mistaken identity, or, as a result of another person using the personal identifying information of the person arrested or charged.

     Under the bill, “mistaken identity” means “the erroneous arrest of a person for a crime as a result of misidentification by a witness or law enforcement, confusion on the part of a witness or law enforcement as to the identity of the person who committed the crime, misinformation provided to law enforcement as to the identity of the person who committed the crime, or some other mistake on the part of a witness or law enforcement as to the identity of the person who committed the crime.”

     The bill further directs the Department of Corrections and any other applicable State or local government agency to expunge its records and reverse any administrative actions taken against a person whose record is  pursuant this section.

     Finally, the bill provides that the provisions of N.J.S.2C:52-7 through N.J.S.2C:52-14 shall not apply to an expungement pursuant to this subsection and no fee shall be charged to a person eligible for relief.