New York Criminal Record Sealing
Having a New York criminal record can often make life difficult. It’s frustrating being held back by mistakes made in your past. A New York criminal record can prevent you from obtaining higher-paying jobs, getting better housing, obtaining professional licenses, qualifying for government services and programs such as student loans, and countless other opportunities 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, usually 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).
Furthermore, New York has recently enacted a new record sealing law, allowing many more offenses to be eligible for sealing. New York also offers Certificates of Relief from Disabilities or a Certificates of Good Conduct. These certificates may also restore your firearm rights in New York.
How to Remove Your New York Record
In addition to drug-related offenses, certain “specified offenses,” such as 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.
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 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.
Our firm offers the following legal services in New York:
- New York Conviction Record Seal: Under New York State law, certain types of conviction are eligible to be sealed. 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.
- New York Certificate of Relief from Disabilities: A person convicted of only one felony offense is eligible for 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.
- New York Certificate of Good Conduct: A person convicted of more than one felony offense is eligible for a Certificate of Good Conduct, 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 Good Conduct gives you a presumption of rehabilitation and restores most legal disabilities stemming from your conviction.
Why You Should Hire WipeRecord
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. If your held back by a criminal record, and you would like to begin the sealing process, or obtain a certificate, contact our firm today.
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
There are a few different options available for those with a criminal record, and our law firm 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, please 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 Criminal Record Removal Services
New York Conviction Record Seal
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. Yet, it’s important to know which statute you are eligible under, if at all.
To qualify under the older record sealing law, 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.
Contact our law firm today to see if you qualify for one of these criminal record sealing services.
New York Certificate 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 could 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. A “felony” means a conviction of a felony in this state or of an offense in any other jurisdiction for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment in excess of one year, or a sentence of death, was authorized. There is no waiting period to apply, and in some instances, you may apply while still incarcerated or during sentencing.
New York Certificate 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. Additionally, a Certificate of Good Conduct may restore the right of an individual to apply for public office (whereby a CRFD does not).
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 Conduct, 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. Or, take our newly updated eligibility test, now with an added e-commerce option to begin the process right away. See our weekly blog for a summary of the new WipeRecord eligibility test.
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New York Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my record still affecting me after I have served my sentence? There are a number of reasons that states allow for public access to criminal records. Some believe that having a record might discourage would-be offenders from committing criminal acts – in that they would not want to have an official criminal record. There is also a belief that people have a legitimate interest in being informed about whom they employ, rent property to, and interact with. Furthermore, states have an interest in keeping records for the purpose of issuing licenses (such as CDL or a CCL), hiring government employees (such as police), and reviewing an individual’s criminal history if they are arrested another time in the future.
How is a certificate going to keep employers from discriminating against my criminal background? Under New York law, a public or private employer must give consideration to a Certificate of Relief issued to an applicant. It shall also create a presumption of rehabilitation. Employers may still use their own discretion when making hiring decisions, but more and more, businesses are understanding that a previous conviction should not be an absolute bar for applicants.
Why is a certificate so expensive? Getting a certificate in NY is a great chance to receive many benefits. However, if not done correctly you may miss out on things like firearm rights and other important opportunities. Hiring a law firm experienced in such matters ensures that from start to finish, an attorney will be working hard on your case. This includes contacting courts, drafting legal documents, and following up with any other requirements. The process can be difficult without the assistance of an attorney, so it’s always best to consult a law firm experienced in such matters.
Why can you not offer certificates in Queens, Bronx, Manhattan, or Richmond? The court clerks in these counties have told our firm that certificate applications are an in-house process that cannot be done through an attorney. In these counties, applicants must visit the court, fill out the necessary forms, go to probation for review, and follow the instructions of the court. Unfortunately, attorneys cannot file certificate applications on behalf of clients in these counties. If you have been sentenced to state prison, or have two or more felonies, your application must be filed with the NY Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), in which case we may be able to help.
What is your guarantee? Our “Money Back Guarantee” applies to certain cases where we are unable to successfully obtain the expungement, record sealing, conviction set-aside, or other criminal record related service. It is not a guarantee of any specific outcome. Rather, we may return all or part of the legal fees paid if for some reason your case is ineligible or unable to be completed. The research fee is generally non-refundable and is retained for legal services rendered. We will not refund legal fees where the outcome of the case is discretionary, or if your contract is voluntarily terminated.
What is my chance of getting a certificate? Your chances of getting a certificate in New York will depend on a few things. Some points that a court may consider are (a) whether the applicant is an eligible offender, (b) whether the relief granted by the certificate is consistent with the rehabilitation of the offender, and (c) the relief granted by the certificate is consistent with the public interest. A court will likely consider the nature of your conviction, how long it’s been since that time, whether you’ve been convicted or arrested of any new offenses, and similar matters. Generally, the more these factors weigh in your favor, the better your chances are of obtaining a certificate.
How long does it take? The application process for a certificate will vary depending on the complexity of your case. If the application is submitted accurately and completely, it could be processed within 3-6 months. However, it could take longer than that, depending on how busy the court is, how difficult it is to obtain your records, and other similar issues.
More New York Frequently Asked Questions