For many, a criminal conviction may not carry a lifelong prison sentence, but it can carry a lifelong sentence of lost opportunities, job discrimination and other consequences. Even those who never face another conviction might have to live with punishment for a crime that took place many years ago. This could change, though, with a new law taking effect in October regarding criminal record sealing.
According to the Collateral Consequences Resource Center, §160.59 of New York’s Criminal Procedure Law will allow for new sealing provisions that make New York one of the most generous states in the country for such. You should know the following facts.
You may seal two convictions
The law provides for sealing up to two convictions at the discretion of the court. This means that any person with a criminal conviction may petition the court that tried them to have the records of the conviction sealed. One stipulation of this provision, however, is that only one of the crimes sealed may be a felony conviction.
Some crimes are not eligible
Although the law change will benefit many people with convictions, there are some who will not be eligible to have their crimes sealed. These include any person convicted of a sex crime, violent felony or class A felony. If your conviction is less than 10 years old, you may have to wait to have its records sealed.
Get started by filing an application
Sealing of conviction records does not occur automatically. Those interested should file an application with the court which handled the case originally. You must also include a sworn statement explaining the reason for sealing. This can be a challenging process to navigate. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help.
"All of my contact was handled very promptly and professionally. They were very knowledgeable and made me feel like my case was as important to them as it was to me."
"I highly recommend the Law Office of James L. Riotto. The entire staff is professional, knowledgeable and always willing to help. Mr. Riotto’s legal prowess coupled with his background in law enforcement give him the ability to be empathetic to his client’s circumstances while relentlessly striving for the best possible outcome."
"Everyone I’ve talked to in this office has always been kind and very helpful. I’ve used them a couple of times now and am very happy with the outcomes and how well they’ve communicated with me."
"I would like to say what an amazing job your office did for me. Your team really saved me and helped me save costs. I want to give a shout out to an amazing person who worked tirelessly for me.. Chelsea Gardner!! She is awesome. James, I tell everyone I know to call you and your team. True professionals and they do what they say!!"
"Mr. Riotto was very responsive to us on our initial call as throughout the legal process. It was very clear how he was approaching the case and what the outcome may be. It can be unsettling hiring an attorney we did not know. He very quickly put our minds to rest."
Handpicked Top 3 Criminal Defense Lawyers in Rochester, New York. Our 50-Point Inspection includes everything from checking reviews, ratings, reputation, history, complaints, satisfaction, trust and cost to the general excellence. You deserve only the best!