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Can You Get A Charge Of Simple Assault Expunged From A Criminal Record

The answer is “it depends.” N.J.S.A. 2C:52-1 governs expungements. Expungements only encompass criminal charges and their consequences. As such, a criminal charge that arose from a domestic incident may be subject to expungement, but a domestic violence complaint that arose from a domestic incident in which the victim sought restraint and civil relief is not subject to expungement. In re Expungement of the Criminal Record of M.D.Z., 286 N.J. Super. 82 (App. Div. 1995).

Simple assault charges are eligible to be expunged in appropriate circumstances. For instance, in In re Criminal Records of H.M.H., as a husband’s simple assault on his wife, to whom he was still married after 10 years, was an apparent aberration in an otherwise law-abiding life, he was entitled to have his criminal records expunged notwithstanding the prosecutor’s objection. 404 N.J. Super. 174 (Ch. Div. 2008).

As a practical matter, expungements are not meant to be granted for a “career criminal,” so to speak. And, generally speaking, the less extensive one’s history of criminal offenses, the more likely the County Prosecutor will not have an objection to the expungement of said offense and that the expungement will be granted.