If you’ve been arrested or charged or convicted of a crime in New York City, then you have a public record that’s available to any organization or even individual who requests it via the proper channels. Such a record can negatively affect your life in a number of ways, including blocking you from employment or preventing you from being approved for credit. Expungement is a legal option that can block the record from public inspection and thus prevent its ability to affect your life in this manner.
Expungement is a legal mechanism through which an arrest, charge or conviction can be removed from the public record. These items aren’t erased in the sense that they’re completely gone. They’re still available to law enforcement and other government agencies. In NYC, this process is often referred to as sealing in order to distinguish it from this notion of erasure. Sealing leaves the opportunity for a record to be reopened or reversed, which may be necessary due to a court order or because the person in question failed to live up to an agreement made during an expungement proceeding.
The Youthful Offender Status
In NYC, the Youthful Offender status can be applied to anyone who’s arrested, charged or convicted while they were younger than 18 years old. In these cases, the record is automatically sealed upon a youthful offender adjudication. In the event that there was an error made at some point in this process, legal representation can ease the steps required to fulfill the sealing.
Record Sealing Eligibility
If a case is settled in your favor, then records should be sealed and fingerprints and other proofs be destroyed automatically. If a mistake was made, a legal representative can help you exert this right. If a case wasn’t settled in your favor, then eligibility will depend on the offense. An attorney who specializes in expungement can help you determine your eligibility and perhaps help position you for eligibility. Most non-criminal offenses can be sealed through a relatively simple process. For criminal offenses, many factors are involved, including time lapsed and criminal record since.
Navigating the expungement process in NYC is much easier with the proper representation. A lawyer can answer your questions and help you identify your objectives and options. Once you’re clear on what you want to achieve, a plan to do so can be formulated. The lawyer can then prepare and file the necessary documentation on your behalf. In many cases, the person having their record sealed doesn’t even need to appear before a judge. In the other cases, the attorney can handle the details and necessary agreements in advance, and then appearing at the expungement proceeding is largely a formality.
People deserve second chances. This is why sealing is an option. If you’ve made a mistake in your life but have moved on in a positive fashion, we’d like to help you regain control over your reputation. Productive members of our society who’ve learned from their mistakes shouldn’t continue to be penalized by them.