Everyone Has Made Mistakes, but Employers May Not be Understanding

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

More likely than not, you’ve done something in the past that you regret. If that regret happened to carry a criminal offense, it may be something that can cause major problems in the future. Although family and friends may be forgiving of past mistakes, potential employers don’t know you that well. Employers tend to be a lot less understanding of your past and rightfully so. Employers can’t possibly know the true character of every potential candidate. That being said, employers have an obligation to their stakeholders to find the most suitable employees. Hiring someone with a criminal past is certainly not as appealing to an employer as someone with a “clean” record.

The fact of the matter is that employers only have a limited amount of information to rely upon when screening potential candidates. Data on criminal offenses is certainly stronger than a personal or professional reference. Therefore, employees hold criminal background checks as a valuable resource. A poor hiring decision can prove to be extremely costly to an organization. The possibility of a potential lawsuit or the additional costs associated with replacing an unethical employee is more than enough to justify background checks. In fact, it is estimated that nearly seventy percent of all employers in the United States conduct criminal background checks prior to hiring. That number is even higher when considering more lucrative types of employment.

Employers now have access to a plethora of screening services and background checks are becoming increasingly thorough. Criminal charges may be hindering your career and perhaps unnecessarily so. Every criminal offense is unique and certain convictions are not eligible for expungement. However, many items on a criminal record are able to be expunged. Expungement refers to a legal process where certain records including: criminal complaints, arrests, warrants, fingerprints, and other items may become inaccessible through background checks. Furthermore, expungement often waives the ability of the court or other law enforcement to hold those particular items against you in legal proceedings. Feel free to give the attorneys at Charles Block a call to discuss expungements in more detail.

The Effects Of Drinking And Driving

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Drunk driving is a major problem that law enforcement is striving to prevent and control. An alcohol-related car accident and drunk-driving conviction can have many negative consequences in your life, including jail or prison time, a criminal record, car repair or replacement, restitution, guilt and grief over harm to others, higher insurance premiums, a civil lawsuit, fines, court and administrative fees, community service, alcohol education, substance-abuse treatment, social stigma, and restrictions on or revocation of your driver’s license.

The causes and effects of drinking and driving are staggering. Poor coordination, disorientation, blackouts, slurred speech, poor self-esteem and double vision are just the short-term effects of alcohol abuse. The long-term effects of alcohol consumption can include heart disease, peptic ulcers and cirrhosis a debilitating liver disease called.

Studies have shown it only takes three to four, 12-ounce beers for a 170 pound male to become intoxicated, and one to three of those same beers for an average sized woman to become intoxicated.

After the nightmare of a drunk-driving trial, conviction and sentence, your driving privileges may still be intact or may be restored. However, the question of  automobile insurance becomes more complex and expensive. Exactly what your insurance company legally can do varies from state to state and depends on the insurance law of your state.

Your insurance company may cancel or decline to renew your policy, restrict coverage provisions or increase your premiums based on your drunk driving record. Overall your premiums could go up as much as 100 percent or more.

How your insurer reacts to your drunk driving may be worse if you have other strikes against you, including previous drunk-driving convictions, traffic tickets, at-fault accidents, late or unpaid insurance premiums or other negative history with the insurer. Other significant issues your record may impact is coverage by other types of insurance policies, such as life or medical insurance.

 

New Jersey Crimes Eligible for Expungement

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Certain criminal convictions are eligible for an expungement in New Jersey. In addition to determining the crimes which are eligible, it is equally important to determine the length of the waiting period from the date of your conviction to the date upon which you are eligible to file a petition for expungement You should have your criminal record expunged because background checks are now the norm. Many employers and educational institutions place a stigma on any person who has been arrested or convicted of a crime. It can also affect your employment opportunities, professional licensing boards and college applications. An expungement of your New Jersey record will prevent an employer from accessing your criminal record and allow you to lawfully answer “no” on an employment application.

Crimes which are Eligible for Expungement

In order to have your record cleared, you must first look at whether or not you are eligible to have the criminal conviction expunged.

Convictions for the following crimes are not eligible for expungement in New Jersey:

.Criminal Homicide (exception Vehicular Homicide)

.Kidnapping

.Luring or Enticing

.Aggravated Sexual Assault

.Criminal Sexual Contact if the victim is a minor

.Criminal Restraint

.Robbery

.Endangering the Welfare of a Child (if based on sexual contact or child pornography)

.False imprisonment

.Perjury

.False Swearing

.Distribution of Controlled Dangerous Substance or Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substances with Intent to Distribute

.Motor vehicle violations, DWI or DUI.

Waiting Period for Expungements

The following information is general eligibility requirements for an expungement and the waiting periods for filing a petition for expungement in New Jersey.

TYPE OF CONVICTION AND  TIME ELAPSED SINCE CONVICTION

Indictable two or more convictions – 10 years waiting period from completion of sentence

Disorderly Persons (up to 3 disorderly) – 5 years waiting period from completion of sentence

Petty Disorderly Persons – 5 years waiting period from completion of sentence

Municipal Ordinances – 2 years waiting period from completion of sentence

Juvenile Delinquency – 5 years waiting period from completion of supervision

Possession of CDS <21 years of age – 1 year period from completion of sentence

Arrests not resulting in Convictions – Immediately

Conditional Discharges/Pretrial Invention – 6 months

Length of Time Before Expungement is Complete

The expungement motion should be scheduled for 30 to 60 days from the filing of the expungement petition. Keep in mind that each county is slightly different as far as the time it takes to get your case listed on the expungement calendar.

Information Needed to Get Started

In order for an attorney to file your New Jersey expungement petition, specific information about the offense must be obtained. Such as summons or complaint number, arresting agency, criminal charge and corresponding statutory number, arrest date, and disposition. Without this information, the expungement cannot be appropriately filed or granted.

 

 

Juvenile Use of Weapons

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Our schools, a place of safety, learning, and growth, are being challenged daily by violent acts, including:  homicide, assaults, child sexual abuse, and violence affecting teachers, parents, children, and the whole community.  Victims of violent crimes may suffer physical, social, and emotional withdrawal from peer and family relations and become more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs. These traumatic experiences further contribute to their lack of effective learning, growth, and development. Today, the major problems in our schools are the use of firearms, weapons, substance abuse, and gangs. Such acts of violence occur not only in large urban areas, but also suburban and rural schools including both public and private schools. In 2004, students ages 12 to 18 were victims of 107,400 serious violent crimes at school (U.S. Department of Justice, 2006.) In 2005, 8% of students reported being threatened or injured with a weapon such as a gun, knife, or club on school property, and only 55% of high-school students felt safe at school.

The use of guns in schools has increased to the point that approximately one in four major school districts now uses metal detectors to reduce the number of weapons brought into schools by students. Juvenile offenders arrested for weapons violations are sometimes fellow students, and non-student peers who threaten and attack students, administrators, and teachers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 1995 nearly one-fourth of students nationwide had carried a gun to school. In 1997, 4,205 children and teens died as a result of gunfire – one every two hours, nearly 12 every day. Gun violence among juveniles further causes countless injuries and disabilities.

The Crime Control Act of 1990 was passed by Congress in an effort to regain control of schools in the United States. The Act prohibits possession or discharge of a firearm on or within 1,000 feet of private, parochial, or public school grounds. Violators can face up to five years imprisonment, a fine of no more than $250,000, or both. As of 1996, fifteen states including New Jersey have passed laws making adults criminally liable for shootings committed by children who have access to the weapons. A maximum of three years in prison can result for a fatal shooting that occurs in this type of situation.

Any juvenile charged with unlawful possession of a firearm in New Jersey is subject to a Fourth Degree crime.  Furthermore, a juvenile charged with delinquency for weapon possession must face a retention hearing where the court may decide to hold the juvenile in detention pending the outcome of the case. If the juvenile was also in Possession of a Firearm for Unlawful Purposes, he faces an enhanced charge involving a Second Degree crime. If the firearm was brought into a school, then the charge is a Third Degree offense. A juvenile being charged with a Third Degree, and even Second Degree crime, can face a lengthy incarceration time or additional consequences if convicted.

Juvenile Law—Kids and Drugs

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Juvenile crimes can be either felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the brutality of the offense.  In a lot of cases, particularly those concerning violence, sexual felonies, crimes on a campus, or other factors such as:  gang developments or exploit of weapons, the juvenile offender will be charged as an adult and subject to adult penalties.

Kids and Drugs Just Don’t Mix

This thought applies to a juvenile whether or not he or she finds his or herself in a child welfare action in juvenile court.  There is an assumption that if you are a parent who uses drugs and has minor children—you are in fact, neglecting them and instigating possible drug use in the child’s future.  The best thing a parent should do is immediately inquire about substance abuse treatment.  It is hypothetically possible that a parent can use drugs and not disregard their child, but the burden of proof to refute that assumption is very high.  The argument that illicit drug use does not impair a parent’s parenting ability is nearly impossible to win.  It may not be impossible, but there are circumstances where a court would not find it to be so.  Avoid your child’s possible stay in a Juvenile correctional facility due to drugs by seeking treatment today.

Expungement: Get a clean criminal history

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Expungement is a legal process under which the criminal gets a clean criminal history as his or her arrest and conviction is completely erased from the criminal record. It is important to note here that not all cases and not all conditions make a person or persons eligible for seeking expungement. The eligible person has to meet certain standards set under the federal law in order to become eligible for expungement. The very process of laborious one and it involves a number of series of steps, and each step has many complications that need to be carefully looked into.

Following are some of the examples of convictions that do not fall under the ambit of expungement:

  • 1. Rape
  • 2. Sexual battery
  • 3. Corruption of a minor
  • 4. Sexual imposition
  • 5. Obscenity or pornography where a minor is involved
  • 6. Felonies done by the accused where the victim is under 18 years of age

There is certainly a distinction when you compare expungement with pardon or the executive clemency. Although both these terms appear similar, yet there is huge difference in both of them. Under the expungement conditions, a person whose criminal record is erased treats the events as they had never happened in the past or present. However, this is not the case with the executive clemency. Pardon doesn’t erase the records. Pardon is forgiveness is granted by the governor for the state law offenses, and the President for the federal offenses. Expungement deals with an individual who has underlying criminal record. It is a civil action where the plaintiff or the petitioner will ask the court to clearly declare in the writing on the records to be expunged.

Expungement case is handled by criminal lawyer or attorney, and therefore it is very necessary that you hire one for your Expungement. There are many experienced lawyers and attorneys who are trained and qualified to handle expungement cases. Criminal Attorney New Jersey can be your first choice, though you can also look for qualified criminal lawyer in Haddonfield, PA and many other counties and states. It all depends on your comfort levels and the jurisdiction under which your state or county is covered.

But make sure that you go for experienced criminal lawyer so that your application for expungement is justified before the judge in the court of law. Expungement is meant to give you a cleaner image so that you can lead a normal life and recreate your lost images in the public. Therefore, you cannot take chances with expungement or else, it is you who would eventually be at fault again. What are you thinking about? Get ready and apply for Expungement before it is too late. You deserve to be expunged.