Convictions for prostitution were not a single “crime spree” eligible for expungement, court holds

Criminal convictions can be expunged in New Jersey after a period of 10 years, but only for offenders who have no prior or subsequent convictions. In limited circumstances, an offender may be able to prove that multiple convictions were so closely related to each other that they form a single event for purposes of expungement, but this was not the case in a recent Appellate Division opinion denying expungement for two prosecution offenses. In re Expungement of the Crim. Records of C.A.D. (Jul. 18, 2013).

 

The petitioner in this case owned and operated two massage parlors that were fronts for prostitution. Middlesex County authorities arrested him in 2002 in connection with one of the massage parlors and charged him with various prostitution offenses. Two months later similar charges were filed against him in a separate indictment in Bergen County, where the second massage parlor was located. He eventually pled guilty to one count of fourth degree maintaining a nuisance in each case and after serving his probation he filed an expungement petition for both convictions in Middlesex County. Hoping to avoid the restriction on multiple convictions, he contended that his convictions were part of a common “crime spree” and should be treated as a single event for expungement.

 

The court rejected the petitioner’s “crime spree” argument and denied his request for expungement, concluding that he had been convicted of two separate offenses and failed to prove otherwise. As the court noted, the petitioner’s crimes occurred in different counties and resulted in different criminal indictments; they simply could not be considered truly simultaneous under the totality of the facts.

 

If you’re facing sex crimes charges in Middlesex County and have questions about the possible penalties and legal consequences, or if you have an existing sex crimes conviction that you’d like to get expunged, call the Law Offices of Palumbo & Renaud at 908-337-7353.