Can You Expunge A Felony In New York
Expungement in New York is non-existent. Just a clarification, an expunged record is permanently erased but again, there is no provision to totally erase your criminal record in New York.
There are other ways you can get a fresh start in New York. You can seal your criminal records which means your records cannot be found by employers, landlords, mortgage lenders, or anyone else who wants to know what you have been doing in the last few years.
Records will still be available with a court order.
What Can Be Sealed Under The New Law
Courts will now have the discretion to seal up to two convictions, with only one that can be a felony, for any crime other than sex offenses, Class A felonies, and violent felonies. Multiple eligible convictions that were committed as part of the same transaction are considered to be one conviction under this statute. CPL 160.59. The requirement is that the defendant must wait at least 10 years from the date of conviction or release from prison, and then records will be sealed from the public. On top of this, the New York Human Rights Law was also amended, which prevents employers and occupational licensing agencies from asking about or discriminating against individuals for a sealed conviction. So, for example, a woman who committed an assault in the 3rd degree in 2004, but was sentenced to probation for 2 years would be eligible to apply, as would a Brooklyn man convicted of a misdemeanor DWI conviction in 2002 who served 2 years probation.
Questions About How To Expunge A Criminal Record In New York Ask An Attorney
Getting a record sealed involves meeting very specific court requirements and convincing multiple authorities to support your request. If you’re looking to expunge your criminal record in New York, you should contact a local criminal defense attorney who can help guide you through the process and provide important insights into your case and its potential issues.
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New York Law Allows You To Petition To Have Your Criminal Record Sealedthat Is Expunged Or Hidden From Public View But Not All Convictions Are Eligible
New York allows criminal records to be sealed under the circumstances described below. When your record is sealed, it is hidden from public view, though some government agencies may still have access to it. In most cases, after your record is sealed, you may say that you were not arrested or convicted of a crime.
Can You Seal A Criminal Record In New York
Until recently, the right to seal criminal records in New York was limited and only allowed in very narrow circumstances involving diversion courts and drug treatment dispositions. However, New York recently enacted an expansive criminal conviction sealing law.
In some U.S. states, a person can request an expungement of his criminal record. This is a legal process in which the record of an arrest or criminal conviction is erased.
Even misdemeanor convictions may have serious collateral consequences in certain situations. Unlike other states, New York does not allow you to expunge your criminal records, which would mean the record is completely destroyed and the crime and conviction is completely erased from your record.
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The Results Of Record
Aaron MorrisonOct 08, 2019
Each time Larry cashes the paycheck he earns as a nurses assistant at a New York City hospital, he feels like hes being forced to leave much-needed money on the table. The 42-year-old makes roughly $32,000 in base annual salary, but says he would earn an additional $50,000 if he could pass the criminal background check required to work as a certified emergency room nurse.
In 1994, when Larry was 17, he pleaded guilty to attempted felony criminal sale of a controlled substance, for steering an undercover NYPD officer to a dealer selling crack cocaine. He was sentenced to five years of probation. While still on probation, Larry was arrested and convicted of misdemeanor drug possession. He was sentenced to time served and has managed to stay out of trouble since. But the felony and misdemeanor convictions remain on Larrys record and have stifled his ability to advance in healthcare or start a new career.
I always wanted to be a police officer, Larry, who asked to use a different name to avoid publicly sharing his arrest record, told The Appeal. But being that I had so many things over my head, as far as the felony and stuff like that, I knew that was out of the question.
It actually made me want to give up, said Larry, who is married and has five children. But the thing is, I know that by giving up Im losing hope, and Im not gonna be able to provide for my family and my kids.
Requirements To Seal A Felony Conviction In New York
A felony conviction can have far-reaching consequences. Even after you have served your time, your conviction will continue to follow you. Having a criminal record may prevent you from securing employment, applying for certain loans, and entering the military. Today, it is estimated that nearly a third of the adult working-age population has a criminal record, according to the Department of Justice. Fortunately, some New Yorkers now have the ability to apply to have their misdemeanor or felony conviction sealed, effectively hiding evidence of the conviction from most private employers and many others. Our New York City criminal defense lawyers explore the requirements and benefits of sealing your criminal conviction below.
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Criminal Records Of Adults
When you are convicted of a crime as an adult, in addition to direct punishment, such as jail or prison time, fines, restitution, forfeiture and probation, there are also indirect consequences of criminal convictions, known as collateral consequences. Collateral consequences can affect a broad range of areas in your life, including employment, voting rights, jury service, immigration, housing, public benefits, and school loans. Even misdemeanor convictions may have serious collateral consequences in certain situations.
Unlike other states, New York does not allow you to expunge your criminal records, which would mean the record is completely destroyed and the crime and conviction is completely erased from your record. Instead, New York allows you to seal some criminal records under certain conditions. Until recently, the right to seal criminal records in New York was limited and only allowed in very narrow circumstances involving diversion courts and drug treatment dispositions.
Not all criminal convictions are eligible for sealing. Certain convictions, such as those related to crimes that demonstrate a significant danger to the public, are not eligible for sealing. For instance, the following convictions, among others, are not eligible for sealing:
Before a judge will consider sealing your criminal record, you must meet certain conditions. To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:
What Would Disqualify Me From Having Certain Convictions Sealed
Many violent crimes and felonies are not eligible for sealing. For example, if the crimes exhibited a significant public threat, then they will not be considered. Offenses that cannot be sealed include:
- Most sex offenses, including those that require sex offender registration
- Those defined by statute as violent crimes, even if no actual violence was involved
- Class A felonies, the most serious crimes under New York law and
- Certain other felonies defined in the statute.
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Expunge / Seal Your Criminal Record In New York
January 15, 2018 by Elliot S. Schlissel
When you are convicted of a crime there are a variety of collateral consequences. To start with, you may face prison time, restitution, criminal fines and probation. In addition, the collateral consequences can have a long term negative impact on your life. Many employers will not hire individuals who are convicted of crimes. You also can lose your right to vote, the ability to become an American citizen and a variety of other benefits. This applies to both misdemeanor and felony convictions.
The Benefits Of Sealing A Criminal Record
A criminal conviction, especially a felony conviction can have a negative impact on your life long after you serve your sentence. That being said, even a misdemeanor offense creates a permanent criminal record. Being convicted of even a single misdemeanor offense means having a permanent criminal record which can impact your chances of getting a job and housing.
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Do Criminal Records Disappear
All criminal information stays on criminal records indefinitely and is available to anyone with access to the records. There is no federal equivalent of record expungement, and the only recourse for an individual to obtain relief from these records is by obtaining a presidential pardon.
What Does Expungement Do
Youll want to do what you can to hide your felony conviction. Doing so will make a big difference in the long run. Once it has been expunged, youll be more likely to get a good job. When you get the conviction expunged, it should be hidden from public view.
Many believe it will destroy the records but it will not. Instead, it seals the record so people cannot find it. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that certain employers and government agencies will be able to access the records. In some states, expunged records can still be accessed.
Sealing and expungement are often the same since they achieve the same thing.
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Who Is Eligible For Sealing
There are four types of cases that are closed or sealed without you having to do anything:
1. Cases where you got a good result. This means:
- Acquittal. The judge or jury found you not guilty after a trial
- Dismissal . The case ended for a reason other than acquittal, but the court did not find you guilty. Possible dismissals include: Dismissal by Grand Jury , Dismissal of the Information, and Dismissal in the Interests of Justice
- Dismissal after Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal . If you were not arrested again during a time period determined by the judge, your case was dismissed.
- . The prosecutor decided not to move forward with the case against you.
- . The police decided not to move forward with the case against you. Order Setting Aside the Verdict. The judge changed the verdict after trial and before sentencing.
- Order Vacating a Judgment. The judge canceled the judgment after you were sentenced.
- Habeas Appeal. A challenge to an unlawful arrest or imprisonment.
2. Crimes Committed by Children.3. Crimes committed by Youthful Offenders.4. Violations and Traffic Infractions like disorderly conduct and trespass are partially sealed.
Since 2009, if you were convicted of a certain drug-related misdemeanor and/or felony , you can ask the court to have your records of those crimes sealed if you:
The new sealing law passed in October 2017 expands cases that are eligible for sealing. You may be eligible if:
You may not seal your case if:
Requesting Expungement And Destruction Of Certain Marijuana Conviction Records
State law permits individuals convicted of Penal Law sections 221.05 and 221.10 to ask the court where the conviction occurred to expunge and destroy their criminal history records related to these charges. Individuals seeking destruction of those conviction records must make a formal request through the state Office of Court Administration . Please visit the OCA website for more information about how to make this request.Please note: Convictions of Penal Law sections 221.05 and 221.10 have been sealed. This means that all of the arrest, court, prosecution and criminal history records related to those convictions are confidential and cannot be seen except under the following circumstances:
- If an individual is applying for a job as a police or peace officer and,
- If an individual is applying for a pistol permit.
Individuals who are satisfied with the confidentiality that record sealing already provides are not required to apply for expungement or destruction of conviction records.
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What Happens When You Seek To Seal A Conviction Record
The judge who sentenced you or a judge on the same court will consider your request. The judge will deny the request if you fail to meet all of the conditions required for sealing your record.
If the judge doesnt reject your request, but the prosecutor files an objection to it, the court will schedule a hearing to consider the request. If the prosecutor offers no objection to sealing your record, the judge may conduct a hearing or may simply grant the request.
What Types Of Criminal Records Can Be Sealed In New York
There are some records that are automatically expunged. These include arrests that result in dismissal, municipal ordinances and juvenile offenses where the sentence has been completed, fines paid, and under the condition that the individual wasnt adjudged a juvenile offender.
There second category of criminal records that can be sealed have a waiting period of 10 years before they can be expunged. These offenses include drug crimes, theft, disorderly conduct, among others.
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Sealing A Felony Record
As mentioned above, a felony conviction is never going to leave. If you want it to disappear, youll need to take steps to have it removed. A felony conviction is going to remain on your record for the rest of your life unless you get it removed.
Felony convictions arent going to automatically disappear. Asking a judge to seal the records is the best way to resolve the problem. In some states, youll be able to expunge the record. If you do this, you can eliminate the conviction entirely. However, this isnt an option in New York.
If you want to remove a felony conviction in New York, youll have to get the records sealed. Although it is similar to expungement, it is slightly different. After youve managed to get the conviction sealed, nobody will be able to find out about it.
You can hide the sealed conviction from landlords, employers, and others. The files will remain but most people wont be able to find them. Just remember that some people can find the felony record in some circumstances.
Who Can Access Sealed Felons
Even if you get a felony conviction sealed, it will be accessible. Sealed records can be accessed by certain individuals, including people you designate. If you want someone to have access to your record, they can get it. If youre applying for a job that requires you to carry a firearm, the employer will be able to find the sealed felony conviction.
In some cases, parole officers will be able to find this information as well. In some cases, a court may order it. If this happens, prosecutors and law enforcement may be able to access the sealed conviction.
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Personal Record Review: What You Need To Know
You may use your Personal Record Review response for any personal reason.
An employer or licensing entity cannot ask you to provide this information as a condition of obtaining or continuing a job or holding a license: this is prohibited by New York State Labor Law. This law does not apply to: employees of state or municipal departments employees of legally incorporated hospitals, and employees of medical colleges associated with such hospitals and employees of private proprietary hospitals.
Access to criminal history records for employment or licensing is only permitted if there is a state law, federal law, or local law of a New York State village, town, city or county that specifically authorizes a fingerprint-based criminal history record check for employment or licensure.
State Labor Law also requires every employer to post a copy of New York State Correction Law Article 23-A, which deals with the licensing and employment of individuals convicted of crimes. The information must be posted in a place accessible to employees.
There are two types of Personal Record Review responses:
Personal Record Review Unsuppressed
This response contains all criminal history records, including those suppressed or sealed under New York State Criminal Procedure Law , including:
Personal Record Review Suppressed
Could You Explain The Difference Between Expungement And Record Sealing
An expungement means an entire deletion of an arrest or criminal charge. Sealing a criminal record is not a deletion the criminal record still exists, but a someone will need a court order to view its contents.
Expungements are not allowed in New York. But an update to New York criminal conviction sealing law in 2017 allows you to seal some criminal records under certain conditions.
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Can I Expunge My Record In New York
Unlike other states, New York does not allow you to expunge your criminal records, which would mean the record is completely destroyed and the crime and conviction is completely erased from your record. In general, only two criminal convictions may be sealed, and only one of them can be a felony.
How Are Adult Criminal Conviction Records Sealed
In some states, expungement completely erases a conviction record as if it never existed, but New York typically doesnt allow the expungement of adult criminal conviction records.
Instead of expungement, New York allows some criminal records to be sealed in some cases. If you have one or two misdemeanor convictions, one felony conviction, or one felony and one misdemeanor conviction, you may be able to have the conviction or convictions sealed.
To have a conviction record sealed, you cannot have any new criminal convictions or have any current criminal charges pending. Ask a Long Island defense attorney to help you with the paperwork and guide you through the process.
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