The Marijuana Decriminalization Law, which took effect July 1, 2021, required the expungement of certain marijuana and hashish cases. As a result, the Supreme Court has ordered that thousands of cases be expunged.
You do not have to report this case on a job application, housing application, or college application. The case has been removed from the public record and cannot be used to keep you from school, housing, or most jobs.
Attempts and conspiracies to commit these offenses also were expunged according to the July 1, 2021 Supreme Court Order.
Confirmation must be requested in person. You will need to bring identification. Call the court in advance to find out where and when to go.
You can call your local ombudsman for guidance on reaching the right office.
You can also get confirmation and a certification by going to the Superior Court Clerk’s Office in Trenton. Call 609-421-6100 for more information.
If you think that your case should have been considered for expungement under the new law, but it was not, you can file a motion for judicial review. Please read the directive to get instructions on where to file.
Complete the Motion for Judicial Review form.
You can submit the form electronically or bring it to the court where your case was heard.
In dismissed cases, the charges are dropped, but there still is a public record of the case.
In expunged cases, the entire case is removed from the public record. It cannot be found in any public database maintained by the Judiciary and it cannot be disclosed by court staff.
The goal of the law is to clear the record of anyone who was charged or convicted of certain marijuana or hashish offenses before recreational use of marijuana and hashish was legalized. People usually must include information about their criminal or delinquency record when they seek a job, housing, or school admission. This information can hurt their chances of being hired, housed, or educated.
Look at the paperwork from your marijuana or hashish case. If you cannot find any papers, you can still find where the case was heard.
If your eligible marijuana or hashish case includes only the charges listed above and is pending:
You are not required to get a lawyer. Still, the court system can be confusing. It is a good idea to get a lawyer if you choose to file a motion. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you can contact the legal services program in your county to see if you qualify for free legal services.
Legal Services of New Jersey maintains a directory of regional legal services offices.
The NJ State Bar Association also maintains a list of county referral services that might be helpful.
Things to think about before representing yourself in court