A criminal record has serious consequences that has a lasting impact on your life and your loved ones. If you are living with a criminal record, it can sabotage any efforts you make to live productively in society.
Being approved for loans, obtaining occupational licenses, receiving student loans, security clearances or even becoming a U.S. citizen. Generally, this applies even for a seemingly minor conviction that pops up during a background check.
Can you imagine how differently your life could be if your criminal history was no longer a hindrance?
Expungement of a Criminal Record in New York
When a record is expunged, it is permanently erased. Even if you were not found guilty of criminal charges, New York law does not allow you to clear your record through expungement. Instead, qualified records are eligible for a process called sealing. Basically, sealing your criminal record means it still exists, but it is hidden from public inspection.
Cases that permits sealing include juvenile offenses, traffic infractions, and certain violations. Low-level acts of non-criminal offenses such as trespassing and loitering may also be sealed. Loitering in a sexually deviant manner or driving while impaired may not be sealed.
A person whose criminal record does not meet the criteria for sealing can still receive help. A Certificate of Good Conduct or a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities are valuable options that can lift certain restrictions regarding licenses and employment.
Benefits of Sealing a Criminal Record
In many cases, any obstacles that formerly exist with a criminal record are removed. That means getting a home or car loan becomes a little easier when the barrier of having a history in crime is no longer a hindrance. A sealed record may also improve your options for getting an education and working in the field of your choice.
Keep in mind, however, that a sealed record is not the same as an erased record. Details can still be viewed under certain circumstances by specific people. Some may include:
• You, to get a copy of your criminal history
• A potential law enforcement employer or if you want to work a peace officer
• Any employer where your duties include carrying a firearm
• The military
• Prosecutors and other officials in law enforcement
• Probation or parole office if you get arrested while on probation or parole
• An agency from which you are applying for a gun license
How to Seal Your Record
Most criminal records are sealed automatically after the appropriate time limit passes. Still, you want to make sure nothing was left open that may cause an unwanted problem or delay in your life. You may request a copy of your criminal record online from the Division of Criminal Justice Services. Any offenses you want sealed will require filing a motion in court.
If your petition is approved, it is entered into the record. Challenges to your petition by the court my require providing more information and proof to show why your records should be sealed. Assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands New York laws and court systems can place you at an advantage for making a strong case.
Let Raiser & Kenniff, PC Protect Your Reputation
We have attorneys who specialize in protecting your reputation and desire to move forward in life. Our firm is familiar with the various eligibility procedures and requirements of New York laws pertaining to sealing criminal records. Not only can this become complicated, but most vary from county to county.
We work diligently to clear the record of some embarrassing things that happened in the past. Raiser & Kenniff, PC will help you overcome the barriers and social stigma often created from having a criminal record.