Do you or a loved one have a criminal record that is over ten years old? Many don’t realize that in 2017 New York’s new sealing law (Criminal Procedure Law §160.59) went into effect. This law gives those with eligible convictions a chance to minimize the negative impacts that criminal convictions have on their lives by having their records sealed. A criminal record impacts employment opportunities, housing, and even the loss of professional licenses.
Why Hire a New York Criminal Record Sealing Attorney?
Every eligible individual must apply for record sealing. There are no guarantees that your application will be approved. You also only get one chance of getting your records sealed, so it’s critical you follow the procedures correctly the first time. For the best chances of record expungement and sealing in New York, you’ll want to hire an experienced NYC criminal record sealing attorney to help you navigate the process.
Record Sealing vs. Expungement
The main difference between sealing and expunging is that the sealing generally prevents the public and employers from viewing past convictions. Expungement vacates and removes the conviction from your records. New York currently does not expunge convictions.
Individuals with not more than one New York State felony or two criminal convictions that is/are at least ten years old may apply to have their criminal records permanently sealed. If you have a minor or nonviolent offense, you’ll have the best chance to get your application approved without challenge.
Not everyone with a criminal record in New York is eligible for having their records sealed. Your application will not be approved if you:
- Are required to register as a sex offender under New York law.
- Have three or more adult criminal convictions.
- Have two or more felony convictions.
- Have committed a Class A felony, a violent felony, homicide felonies, sexually violent offenses, or any conviction for conspiracy to commit any ineligible offense.
- Have been convicted of other crimes by other states or by Federal courts.
- Have been convicted of another crime after the conviction you are seeking to seal.
- The conviction is less than ten years old.
- You have an undisposed arrest or pending charge which must be dealt with.
After you apply, the prosecutor’s office has 45 days to challenge the motion. If the prosecutor challenges, your motion will be scheduled for a sealing hearing before a judge. In this case, you will want an aggressive and experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side.
Sealing is not an expungement; however, it does result in most potential employers not being able to view a record of your offenses. They will not show up in most background checks. An employer will be able to view your sealed records if you apply for a job that requires you to carry a firearm.
The big benefit of sealing your criminal records is that you no longer will need to struggle to find employment, obtain loans, or secure housing.
New York Criminal Record Sealing Attorney Gilbert C. Parris
Criminal defense lawyer Gilbert C. Parris has been practicing criminal law for over 20 years. He spent years on the other side working as a State Prosecutor in Kings County, NY. He leverages his unique experience on both sides of the courtroom to build strong defense strategies for every client. Mr. Parris can help you or your loved one with all aspects of applying and defending your application to seal your criminal record.