Sealing Your Criminal Records in New York
Many people have to live with the stigma of a criminal record for life, with past offenses surfacing in background checks, searches by potential employers, or housing applications. But with a new law passed in April of 2017 in New York, you might have the option to seal certain criminal convictions, helping you move on from your past.
Closing Off A Chapter in Your Life
If you haven’t been arrested or convicted of a crime in 10 years, you could be eligible for sealing up to two past convictions. Law enforcement would still have access to the records, but the offenses wouldn’t show up background checks, in public record searches, or to private investigators.
The application process is complex, can be opposed by the District Attorney and requires final approval from a judge, which is why our experienced attorneys at Schalk, Ciaccio & Kahn in Long Island, NY, are ready to assist you in sealing your criminal records. We are seasoned trial lawyers with more than 30 years of experience dedicated to providing passionate and effective representation for every client. We know that all types of crimes can negatively impact defendants’ lives, which is why we want to help you seal those records and move on with your life.
Am I Eligible to Seal My Criminal Record?
If you’re interested in sealing your criminal record, our attorneys can consult with you to determine whether it will be possible. If so, they can walk you through the application process.
To qualify for sealing your criminal record, 10 years must have passed since you were convicted of a crime or released from custody. You also cannot have any open criminal cases.
Under the law, many crimes that were previously ineligible for sealing would now be eligible, including Driving While Intoxicated and related DWI/DUI offenses. Crimes that are not eligible for sealing include:
- Homicides and related offenses
- Class “A” Felonies
- Violent Felonies as defined under the Penal Law
- Any “attempted” offense where the attempted offense is a felony that would not be eligible for sealing
- Conspiracy convictions where the underlying offense would not be eligible for sealing
- Sex offenses defined under section 130 of the Penal Law
- Crimes involving Sexual Performance by Children
- Offenses that require registration as a sex offender
If you qualify for sealing records, you may seal up to two convictions, but only one felony may be sealed.
What Is the Process to Seal My Criminal Record?
To have offenses potentially sealed if you are eligible, you must bring an application before the court along with required documents and sworn statements proving your eligibility and outlining reasons why the offense should be sealed. The district attorney’s office and the victim of the crime, if one exists, will have the opportunity to weigh in on your application. The judge will review the information and determine whether or not to seal the offense.
The passing of this new law means many will get a second chance at life with a clean slate. Here at Schalk, Ciaccio & Kahn in Long Island, NY, we provide free consultations to help you determine whether sealing your criminal records could be an option for you.
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