If a person is convicted of a crime in New York, they often assume this will remain on their permanent record for the rest of their life. For most instances, this is true. There is no process for erasure, or expungement, of a criminal record in New York. There are however, circumstances, under which the criminal record can be sealed. In October 2017, there was a new court rule which went into effect that broadened the scope of when a record can be sealed. When a record is sealed, it’s only visible to certain government entities, when applying for a job with a very specific requirement, or if a person is charged with a crime in the future.
Experienced New York / NYC record sealing lawyers like those at the Spodek Law Group can help prospective clients go through record sealing process – in addition to preparing them for upcoming changes to the record sealing law.
Here’s the current record sealing procedure
In some situations, the person’s criminal record will be sealed after one year – without needing any examples, examples of where this will happen are:
For the majority of all misdemeanors and felony convictions, there’s no procedure to have the records sealed. The only exception for to this rule is if the crime is classified as being committed because of drug abuse. In order to get the record sealed, a person needs to comply with all the diversionary programs, have no other pending criminal charges, and complete all non-diversionary components of the sentence. If all three of the conditions are met, then a motion can be made with the court in order to seal the record. In order to take action, a person shouldn’t proceed without a record sealing attorney.
Record sealing lawyers at the Spodek Law Group can help clients who fulfill the criteria to file the motion and argue for it’s approval in front of a judge.
With the passage of New York Criminal Procedure Law 160.59, the number of convictions which can be sealed has expanded. There are strict categories of people to whom this new law will apply. In order to take advantage of this new procedure, it’s necessary that the convictions be:
-More than 10 years old. The date begins upon the date of conviction if no jail time was imposed, or upon release from jail.
-Charges must not be a sex offense, violent felony, or class A felony
-Sealing can be requested for a maximum of 2 convictions, only one of which can be a felony
If someone’s convictions meet the criteria above, a petition is made to the court where the more serious of the two convictions is entered to be sealed. The petition has to contain a sworn statement mentioning why the sealing should be granted. The DA’s office has 45 days to object to the record being sealed. If no objection is made, then the court can seal the record without a formal hearing. When such a petition is granted, all of the official records of the convictions will be sealed and made unavailable to any private person/public agency, with the exception of courts, correction agencies, firearm licensing authorities, and law enforcement individuals.
The Purpose of Sealing a Criminal Record
While court systems, and law enforcement, will know a person was convicted of a crime, all private organizations will not. This means a criminal background check will come back without the convictions being visible. Other benefits of sealing a criminal record include restoring your right to vote, clearing the path for student loan applications and other housing assistance. To begin, contact our NYC record sealing lawyers.
Todd is a miracle worker who will work tirelessly for you and your family. He is one of the few attorneys i've met - who I earnestly trust to protect me, and who I am happy to refer to our friends and fellow family members. The Spodek Law Group is someone you want on your side, because they will treat you just like family. Todd and his team are available 24/7, and they always answered our calls. Even when we were being irrational, and crazy - they were calm and super helpful. Just call Todd. He gives you a free consultation and is very understanding.- Donna & Robert
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