Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.
Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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New York recently passed a new law allowing some people convicted of crimes when they were under 19 to apply to have their records sealed if they were initially denied youthful offender status at sentencing. This new retroactive youthful offender adjudication law is great news for many young people who made mistakes in their past and now face lifelong barriers due to having a criminal record.
Having a criminal record can make it really hard to get a job, find housing, apply to college, join the military, or even volunteer in your community. It basically ruins your chances at living a normal, successful life. That’s why this new law is so important – it gives young people a second chance to move on with their lives if they stay out of trouble for 5 years after their conviction.
New York has something called “youthful offender” status that judges can grant to defendants under 19 at sentencing. This keeps their criminal record sealed from the public so it’s like they don’t have a record at all. The judge looks at stuff like:
If the judge thinks they deserve a second chance, they get youthful offender status and their record stays clean. But sometimes judges deny this status, so the person is stuck with a record forever.
The new retroactive law lets people go back to court years later and ask the judge to reconsider giving them youthful offender status to seal their record. They have to stay clean for 5 years after their conviction first though.
To get their record sealed under the new retroactive law, the person has to meet these requirements:
The 5 year waiting period is important – it shows the person has changed and put their criminal past behind them. Judges don’t want to seal records for people still committing crimes.
When deciding whether to grant retroactive youthful offender status, the judge looks at stuff like:
Basically – have they turned their life around and proven they deserve a clean slate? The judge really wants to see changed behavior and personal growth during those 5 years.
Applying to seal your record under the new retroactive law involves a few steps:
Even if you qualify, there’s no guarantee the judge approves the sealing – you have to convince them you really deserve it. Having an attorney helps a lot since they know how to put together the strongest case.
If the judge agrees you deserve a second chance and grants retroactive youthful offender status, your past criminal record gets sealed from the public permanently. This means you can legally say you don’t have a criminal record on most job or housing applications.
There are some exceptions though – federal employers like the military can still see sealed records when they do background checks. So it’s not like the record disappears 100%. But for most purposes in everyday life, your record becomes clean.
This gives you so much more opportunity to live a normal life! You don’t have to worry about that youthful mistake haunting you forever and ruining your future. It’s an amazing feeling when the judge gives you a fresh start like this.
If you meet the requirements, you should definitely consider applying to seal your record under the new retroactive law. Ask yourself:
If you answered yes, then you owe it to yourself to pursue this second chance. Connect with a criminal defense lawyer who can help guide you through the process. It could change your life forever!
We all make dumb mistakes when we’re young. You shouldn’t have to suffer forever because of a youthful indiscretion. This new law recognizes that people have the ability to change and grow. You just have to take the first step and apply for retroactive status.
Good luck and I hope you get the clean slate you deserve!
New York has passed several laws in recent years to help people with criminal records move on with their lives after serving their time:
New York is leading the way in criminal justice reform and giving people second chances. These new laws help reduce barriers and stigma so people can move on with their lives after serving their time. It benefits everyone when people re-enter society successfully rather than getting stuck in the cycle of recidivism.
Other states should look to New York as a model for balancing justice and mercy. Giving youthful offenders a fresh start just makes sense if we truly want them to become productive members of society again.
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