ASSEMBLY, No. 5458

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MARCH 15, 2021

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman† VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblyman† RAJ MUKHERJI

District 33 (Hudson)

Assemblywoman† ANGELA V. MCKNIGHT

District 31 (Hudson)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Verrelli

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Permits expungement of possession or distribution of hypodermic syringe or needle offense in cases of previous expungement; repeals criminal offense of possession of syringe.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning certain expungements and amending N.J.S.2C:52-14 and repealing N.J.S.2C:36-6.

 

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

 

†††† 1.††† N.J.S.2C:52-14 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 2C:52-14.†† A petition for expungement filed pursuant to this chapter shall be denied when:

†††† a.†††† Any statutory prerequisite, including any provision of this chapter, is not fulfilled or there is any other statutory basis for denying relief.

†††† b.††† The need for the availability of the records outweighs the desirability of having a person freed from any disabilities as otherwise provided in this chapter.† An application may be denied under this subsection only following objection of a party given notice pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-10 and the burden of asserting such grounds shall be on the objector.

†††† c.†††† In connection with a petition under N.J.S.2C:52-6, the acquittal, discharge or dismissal of charges resulted from a plea bargaining agreement involving the conviction of other charges.† This bar, however, shall not apply once the conviction is itself expunged.

†††† d.††† The arrest or conviction sought to be expunged is, at the time of hearing, the subject matter of civil litigation between the petitioner or his legal representative and the State, any governmental entity thereof or any State agency and the representatives or employees of any such body.

†††† e.†††† Except as set forth in subsection a. of section 7 of P.L.2019, c.269 (C.2C:52-5.3) concerning a "clean slate" expungement petition, the person has had a previous criminal conviction expunged regardless of the lapse of time between the prior expungement, or sealing under prior law, and the present petition. This provision shall not apply:

†††† (1)†† When the person is seeking the expungement of a municipal ordinance violation [or,]

†††† (2)†† When the person is seeking the expungement of records pursuant to N.J.S.2C:52-6, or

†††† (3)†† When the person is seeking the expungement of records pursuant to N.J.S.2C:36-6 for possession or distribution of hypodermic syringe or needle.

†††† f.†††† (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2017, c.244)

(cf: P.L.2019, c.269, s.12)

 

†††† 2.††† N.J.S.2C:36-6 is repealed.

†††† 3.††† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† N.J.S.2C:52-14 enumerates the grounds for denial of a petition for expungement.† Subsection e. bars expungement when the person has had a previous criminal conviction expunged, but contains exceptions including (1)† when the person is seeking the expungement of a municipal ordinance violation or, (2)† when the person is seeking the expungement of records pursuant to for an arrest not resulting in conviction.† This bill adds N.J.S.2C:36-6, possession or distribution of hypodermic syringe or needle, to the list of exceptions, thereby permitting expungement of conviction for this offense where there has been a previous expungement.† Possession or distribution of hypodermic syringe or needle is currently graded as a disorderly persons offense, and would ordinarily be eligible for expungement.† It is the sponsorís view that, if no other obstacle would bar or result in the denial of expungement, the existence of a previous expungement should not, alone, bar expungement of possession or distribution of a hypodermic needle.

†††† The bill further repeals N.J.S.2C:36-6, possession or distribution of hypodermic syringe or needle.† By removing the requirement to have a prescription for a syringe, it will no longer be a criminal offense to possess or to distribute a hypodermic needle or syringe.† Notwithstanding the repeal of N.J.S.2C:36-6, subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:36-6.2 bars the resale of a hypodermic needle or syringe lawfully obtained from a pharmacy.