James P. McGovern
Attorney at Law, LLC
Expunging Your Criminal Record: Part 1 – Obtain Your Criminal History Record


Jim received his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., majoring in history. He went on to earn a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in political science from Fordham University, New York. Jim received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Rutgers University School of Law-Newark, where he served as Co-Chair of the Moot Court Board, and was awarded the Bureau of National Affairs Prize in Labor and Employment Law.

Following law school Jim served as a judicial clerk to the  Honorable Judge Dorothea Wefing, Presiding Judge of the Appellate Division, retired. On completing his clerkship, Jim became an Associate of the Saddle Brook, New Jersey firm of Cohn Lifland Pearlman, Herrmann and Knopf. There he was fortunate to work closely with the late Albert L. Cohn, Esq. and focused on employment law litigation and appellate practice. Jim went on to join McGovern & Roseman, P.A., the firm founded by his late father, William J. McGovern, focusing on civil litigation while developing the firm’s appellate practice.

In 2009, Jim established his own independent practice, now known as James P. McGovern, Attorney at Law, LLC. Jim has represented clients in criminal and DWI matters, commercial and contract law, and landlord/tenant disputes, as well as handling estate administration and elder law matters. Jim is focused on DWI, estate planning, municipal court practice, and civil litigation, With over twelve years’ experience in litigation and appellate practice, Jim stands ready to address your concerns with competence, efficiency and skill.

Strongly committed to public service, Jim has served on the District Ethics Committee for Sussex and Morris Counties and as an election monitor helping to uphold individuals’ right to vote. Jim coauthored “Application of the Continuing Violation Doctrine under Title VII and New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination,” 26 Rutgers Law Record 6 (with Maurice McLaughlin). His published cases include QBE Insurance Co. v. P & F Container Services, Inc., 362 N.J. Super. 445, 828 A.2d 935 (App. Div. 2003), which concerns insurance coverage issues and the applicability of the MSC 90 endorsement to interstate/intrastate trucking carriers.


Estate Planning

An estate plan is the orderly disposition of one’s assets in accordance with an individual’s wishes and desires. A basic estate plan includes the preparation of a Last Will and Testament, but may also include a Power of Attorney, and a Living Will, as well as more sophisticated Trust documents.

An Estate Plan is key to ensuring that your property and assets are disposed of in accordance with your wishes. Without an Estate Plan, assets may pass not according to your individual preferences, but as the law of intestacy dictates.

Thinking about Estate Planning can be unsettling, so many of us put it off. But in these unsettled times it is all the more urgent for each of us to have an Estate Plan in place to ensure that our loved ones are provided for in accordance with our wishes.

Jim is ready to help you formulate an Estate Plan to meet your wishes and the future needs of your loved ones.

Municipal Court

Jim appears in Municipal Court throughout northern New Jersey to represent people charged with motor vehicle offenses, driving while intoxicated (DWI), violations of municipal ordinances, and petty criminal offenses.

Every municipality in New Jersey, from the largest to the smallest, either has its own municipal court, or shares court facilities with another municipality. New Jersey’s municipal court judges have the full authority to enter penalties including jail, fines, probation, and license suspensions. These penalties often carry serious consequences. For example, even if a judge does not suspend a driver’s license for a motor vehicle offense, the points assessed for that offense may result in a suspension anyway. Likewise, while a plea of guilty to a criminal offense which will not result to jail time may seem the easiest course, this plea – and the resulting criminal conviction – will leave that person with a criminal record, making it harder to find or keep a job, resulting in harsher penalties for any future offenses, creating an obstacle to admission to colleges, the military and professions. Such convictions may also bar one from obtaining a firearms license, holding public office, as well as other opportunities.

New Jersey’s municipal courts hear traffic violations, from speeding to drunk driving, as well as criminal matters known as disorderly persons offenses for which the penalties do not exceed six months in jail (called misdemeanors in some other states). New Jersey’s municipal courts also handle violations of municipal ordinances, such as zoning, health and rent control regulations. New Jersey municipal court cases are heard by a judge sitting without a jury, sitting as trier of law and of fact. Municipal court defendants have a full range of defenses available to them, just as in Superior Court. Although there are significant exceptions, it is often possible to negotiate with a prosecutor for a lesser offense and reduced penalties through plea bargaining. Appeals from municipal courts are heard by New Jersey’s Superior Court in the same county as the municipal court. Further appeals are heard by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court, and then New Jersey’s Supreme Court.

New Jersey municipal court is a serious matter, with serious consequences. Having an experienced New Jersey municipal court lawyer on your side is essential. Jim stands ready to assist you.


An Expungement Order removes and isolates all records of a person’s apprehension, arrests, detentions, trials, or convictions within the criminal justice system that may be on file with any court, police department, law enforcement agency, criminal justice agency, or detention or correctional facility.

Requesting and obtaining an Expungement can be complicated. Since your conviction and/or arrest, years may have passed, records become lost, and memories faded. In these instances a skilled attorney may be best suited to help ensure that any and all criminal convictions and/or arrests have been identified, and that all relevant jurisdictions and agencies are duly notified once the Court grants the Expungement Order.

Jim has assisted individuals with expungements throughout New Jersey. If you are interested in learning more about the expungement process, Jim will be happy to discuss it with you.


February 3, 2013

Requesting and obtaining an Expungement can be complicated. Since your conviction and/or arrest, years may have passed, records become lost, and memories faded. In these instances a skilled attorney may be best suited to help.

Blog Archive


James P. McGovern

243 Sparta Avenue, Sparta, NJ 07871

tel: (973) 845-1205

fax: (973) 726-0432

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