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Supreme Court Rules Bans on Public Employment Stick Despite Expungements

November 24, 2010 | Posted In Recent News |

Expungement of criminal convictions can allow some convicts to have their records removed or expunged, in certain situations.  Not all persons with a criminal conviction will be eligible for expungement.  However, in the case of minor crimes, like drug possession, a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer may be able to have your record expunged. 

In new related developments, the Supreme Court last week ruled that a ban on public employment in cases of criminal convictions continues to be in place, even after the person gets his records expunged.  In short, public workers who commit crimes and have been barred from holding future public jobs will continue to find public employment barred for them, even if they manage to have their records expunged. 

The Supreme Court was ruling in the case of a former detective, DH, who worked in the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.  In June 1999, a local employer asked her to conduct a criminal verification check on a candidate. DH went ahead and performed the check on the Criminal Justice Information System. The next month, she was questioned by prosecutors and state police.  In September that year, she was charged with purposeful and unauthorized access of a computer, which is a disorderly person’s offense.

Because of her spotless prior record, she was sentenced to pay $110 in costs and penalties.  In 2008, she moved to have her record expunged and the court granted her request.  The state appealed and lost that appeal.  Now, the Supreme Court has agreed that the record should be expunged, but it has said that a disqualification from public employment because of a criminal conviction still stands.

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