New York Criminal Record Sealing
Having a New York criminal record can often make life difficult. Its frustrating being held back by mistakes made in your past. A New York criminal record can prevent you from obtaining higher-paying jobs, getting the housing you want, obtaining professional licenses, qualifying for government services and programs such as student loans, and countless opportunities otherwise which would otherwise be available without a New York criminal record.
The New York Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) maintains criminal records for the State of New York. In circumstance where criminal charges were dismissed, prosecution was declined, or an acquittal was obtained, the State of New York will typically seal your related criminal record automatically, typically without the need for you to do anything. Fortunately, many drug-related misdemeanor and felony convictions qualify for record sealing under New York law, removing them from public view and allowing ex-offenders to move on with life. For a complete list of New York Sealable Drug Offenses please click HERE).
In addition to those drug-related offenses, certain “specified offenses,” some of which include burglary, forgery, and criminal mischief also qualify for record sealing under New York law in many circumstances. For a complete list of “specified offenses” please click HERE). In cases where New York State law provides for the sealing of criminal records kept by the DCJS databases, they are made inaccessible to potential employers, landlords, the general public, and most government agencies.
Successfully sealing a New York criminal record, has many clear benefits, some of which include:
- Being able to legally state that you have not been arrested or convicted of a criminal offense to employers and landlords
- Becoming eligible for professional licenses you previously did not qualify for
- Increased eligibility for student loans, housing assistance, and government programs
- Improving your ability to obtain higher-paying job opportunities
- Improving access and admission to college and other educational resources
- Eliminating the concern and potential embarrassment of failing a background check by removing public access to sensitive personal information
Beginning October 2017, a new record seal law in New York allows many more offenses to be sealed. Now, persons that were ineligible under the old law, may be able to seal their criminal record. This is a major opportunity for those that want to clear their New York record.
Even if you are not eligible to seal your criminal record under New York State law, you may be eligible for a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities or Certificate of Good Conduct, both of which can be very helpful in terms of restoring your ability to own a firearm, obtaining a professional license, and improving your chances of obtaining a better, higher-paying job.
If you’re ready to move on in life without a criminal record holding you back, our law firm has is here to help—the first step is simply taking our free, confidential Eligibility Test to see if you qualify for any of our New York criminal record services. If you would prefer to speak with one of our Licensed Attorneys or Criminal Records Analysts, we’d be happy for you to call us toll free at (844) 947-3732.
You can trust that you will get exceptional service form our law firm, as we have an A Rating from the Better Business Bureau, and our attorneys are rated as Super Lawyers and rated as Superb Attorneys by prestigious attorney rating services such as Thompson Reuters and Avvo. Our law firm has attorneys licensed to practice law in all New York state courts, provides low price guarantees, and is here to fight for you and put your criminal record behind you!
New York Record Sealing Services
Upon the successful sealing of a New York criminal record, the DCJS will make the existence and contents of your entire criminal record inaccessible to potential employers, landlords, the general public, and all but a handful of government agencies. Unless you are applying to become a police officer, or a few other limited occupations, you can legally deny the existence of your sealed criminal record. However, it should be noted that a sealed criminal record can often be used against you in subsequent criminal prosecutions.
There are now two record sealing laws in New York. Under the old law, New York record sealing is only available for a number of drug-related offenses and “specified offenses” which are contained in New York Penal Law Article 220, Article 221 and New York Criminal Procedure Law § 410.91. It does not matter if you plead no contest, plead guilty, or were convicted, to an offense qualifying under New York law for record sealing. However, to qualify to have your criminal record sealed, you must not have any current charges or warrants pending, and have successfully complete a qualifying alternative sentencing program, which include:
- A Qualifying Diversion Program (NY CPL § 216.05);
- Drug Court or a District Attorney sponsored DTAP Program;
- A sentence of Willard;
- A Comprehensive Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Program (NY PL 60.04(6));
- Shock Incarceration (NY PL 60.04(7)); or
- Probation With Drug Treatment Ordered as a Condition.
Under the new law, effective October 2017, courts can seal up to two convictions, only one of which may be a felony. Most criminal offenses are eligible, except for sex offenses and Class A or violent felonies. Petitioners must wait 10 years from the date of their conviction or release from imprisonment. Multiple eligible convictions which occur in the same criminal transaction are considered a single conviction. Many more individuals may now seal their records under New York’s new law.
New York’s record sealing rules can be quite complex, and the process is typically lengthy and difficult to navigate without an attorney experienced in these matters. Our law firm is happy to help guide you through the process—we strongly encourage you to take our free, confidential Eligibility Test or give us a call toll free at (844) 947-3732 to discuss your eligibility and the process of sealing a criminal record in New York. The entire process takes approximately 6 months in New York, so the quicker you contact us, the quicker we can get to work helping you put your past mistakes permanently behind you!
New York Certificates of Relief from Disabilities
When you are unable to seal your New York criminal record, in many cases you may seek a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities, which will should restore your ability to own a firearm under New York law, restore your ability to obtain many professional licenses, and improve your chances of obtaining a better, higher-paying job. Your conviction will still appear in a background search, but a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities gives you a presumption of rehabilitation and restores most legal disabilities stemming from your conviction.
To qualify for a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities, you must have only one felony on your record; however, if you have more than one felony from the same indictment, that will be counted as only one felony. There is no waiting period to apply, and in some instances you may do so while still incarcerated or during sentencing. For more information on Certificates of Relief from Disabilities, please give us a call toll free at (844) 947-3732 to speak with one of our licensed attorneys, paralegals, or criminal records analysts.
New York Certificates of Good Conduct
If you have more than one felony on your record, you typically will not qualify for a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities; however, so long as you have met the waiting period requirements, you will typically be eligible to seek a Certificate of Good Conduct. A Certificate of Relief of Disabilities and Certificate of Good Conduct have very similar effects once obtained—the main difference between the two certificates is that a Certificate of Good Conduct has statutory waiting periods which must pass before you are eligible to apply.
The waiting period for a Certificate of Good Conduct begins on the date payment has been made on any fines imposed by the courts, or when you are no longer on parole or supervision by the courts. In general, the following waiting periods apply to Certificates of Good Conduct:
- One year for Misdemeanors
- Three years for Class C, D, or E Felonies
- Five years for Class A and Class B Felonies
For more information on Certificates of Relief from Disabilities and Certificates of Good Standing, and how they can help you advance in life despite having a criminal record, please give us a call toll free at (844) 947-3732 to speak with one of our licensed attorneys, paralegals, or criminal records analysts.
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New York NY 10020
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