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Wayne Legal Issues Blog

Can I get my criminal record cleared?

If you have ever been arrested or detained—regardless of whether you were later convicted—you now have a criminal record. This event remains in your permanent history and follows you wherever you go. There are many deficits of having a criminal record, which can negatively impact other areas of your life. It can affect your ability to get a job, rent or buy a home or enroll in school.

What you may not know, however, is that you can take proactive steps to clear your criminal record. This process is known as “expungement.” If you have your criminal record expunged, it is as though the offense never occurred. It is removed from your police record, and it won’t show up in a background check. What’s more, after the offense is cleared, you are legally permitted to state that it never happened. In job applications, for instance, this can be a real benefit, because many applications explicitly ask whether you have a criminal record. Following expungement, your legal answer to that question is “no.”

Acquittal: Possession of Fraudulent Documents

In a recent case tried in Morris County Superior Court my client was charged with fraudulent possession of 15 fraudulent drivers licenses, a 3rd degree crime, and possession of false documents used for identification, which is a 4th degree crime. Facing the prospect of considerable jail time, I was able to resolve the case with a guilty plea to a traffic violation and small fine. All criminal charges were subsequently dismissed. 

When Self-Defense Becomes Assault

Oftentimes assault charges will result from self-defense in an altercation. When the self-defense is against a retired police officer, blue waters muddy. Should you ever become embroiled in a criminal case in which you are up against not only a criminal charge, but one brought by a law enforcement plaintiff, you are best advised to hire a criminal attorney who has been down that road before. Joel Bacher successfully defended his client against a retired NYC police officer --- obviously in plainclothes --- in an altercation over , all things, a parking spot. Tempers flared and a confrontation ensued that resulted in an arrest. At trial, after arguments, it was determined that Mr. Bacher's client was not guilty of the offense tried. 

Personal Injury and Legal Malpractice

Personal injury law firms run the gamut in size and stature. Sometimes an apparent fit between the firm and its client isn't a fit at all. The plaintiff's attorneys can be slow on the switch, or worse----not sensing a winning case or a large enough settlement --- drop the ball altogether. In the end, the personal injury law firm might be out some personnel hours, but the plaintiff is the big loser because of an opportunity potentially lost to rightfully claim an award as a result of someone's negligence, unaddressed because of poor legal work. This could be construed as legal malpractice. 

Personal Injury and Collisions with Emergency Vehicles

Collisions with Emergency Vehicles happen everyday, unfortunately. They are far too common and avoidable. An emergency vehicle with lights flashing rips through an intersection under duress in an effort to reach a destination fast. Sometimes it's a matter of life and death. Sometimes it's not. In a recent case, Joel Bacher was asked to take on the Bayonne police department and one of their emergency vehicles. The reason for a speeding emergency vehicle --- in this case a police car roaring though an intersection --- was not as clear, given the officer did not employ his overhead lights or his siren as he sped through. A crash occurred, and Mr. Bacher' s client suffered injuries, and was awarded $175,000 in a settlement to offset the personal injury that emerged as a result of the accident. 

Re-Tiering a Megan's Law Ruling

With Joel Bacher, Esq., leading the defense, Mr. Bacher successfully argued the re-tiering of his client from Tier II to Tier I status in a Bergen County, New Jersey Superior Court. Why is this re-tiering important? In general, in states applying risk-based sex registry schemes, low-risk (Tier I) offenders are often excluded from public disclosure. In some states only the highest risk (Tier III) offenders are subject to public disclosure, while some states, including NJ, also include moderate-risk (Tier II) offenders in public websites. Determining the Tier level, and whether or not a person would be subject to public disclosure when relocating to another state, might be close to impossible to tell without consulting an attorney and/or officials responsible for managing registration in the destination state, due to constantly changing laws and vagueness in some states legislative language. A call to my office can help determine if you or someone you know has been placed incorrectly or unfairly in a Tier in which they do not belong, and could expect some relief in a re-tiering ruling. 


Law Offices of Joel Bacher
269 Hamburg Turnpike
Wayne, NJ 07470

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