Sealing Criminal Records in New York State
Looking to seal your criminal record? Upstate New York attorney Andrew DeLuca is here to help. Having an experienced attorney by your side is an important factor in successfully expunging a criminal conviction. Mr. DeLuca serves the greater Capital Region including Albany, Latham, Troy, Schenectady, Saratoga Springs, Glens Falls and the surrounding area.
Can arrest records be sealed in New York?
New York State law allows individuals convicted of certain criminal offenses to petition to have their criminal records sealed. This means that the offenses are expunged or hidden from the general public. The law, §160.59, enacted in October 2017 makes it possible to have up to two criminal offenses sealed, but no more than one felony conviction. Here we’ll explain which crimes are eligible to seal, how to have them sealed and the benefits of sealing them.
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 wasn’t 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.
Sealing drug crimes in NY
Drug-related misdemeanors and felony offenses in New York can be sealed, provided the individual completes a Judicial Diversion Program, Drug Treatment Alternative to Treatment Program, or a similar substance abuse treatment program recognized by the court. In addition, the person must complete any additional sentencing and not have any other pending charges.
Can DWI convictions be sealed in NY?
Those convicted of DWI offenses in New York State aren’t eligible to have their records expunged. This includes DWI misdemeanors and DWI felonies. Sealing is only possible if a DWI case was dismissed or if the accused was acquitted of the DWI charges. In addition, driving while ability impaired (DWAI) is one of three violations in New York State that can’t be expunged or sealed–which means that it will forever be on your criminal record and visible. Another reason why it’s essential to hire an experienced New York State DWI attorney when charged with a DWI or DWAI.
What crimes cannot be sealed?
Some of the records that cannot be sealed in New York, as defined in record sealing law 160.59, include the following:
Class A Felonies
Criminal use of a firearm
Any sex crime that requires one to register as a sex offender
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.
Factors that the judge considers when sealing a record
In New York the presiding judge will weigh various factors when deciding to seal a criminal record or not. Some of these factors include, the time since your last conviction, the seriousness of the offense, the amount of convictions on your record, your behavior and efforts you have taken since your crime to become a productive citizen. The judge may also take into account how sealing the record may help your reintegration into the community and how sealing of the record may affect public safety as a whole.
How much time must pass before sealing a conviction?
In order to have your criminal record sealed, an individual must wait at least 10 years before they can petition to have their records expunged. The 10 years starts after you finish your sentence.
How many convictions can you seal on a criminal record?
In New York State you can only seal a criminal record if the crime is eligible for sealing, 10 years have passed and that you have two or less convictions. However, only one felony can be sealed, but it must be one of the felonies listed in 160.59.
How do you seal a criminal record in New York?
The process for sealing a criminal record is outlined below:
First you must complete an application along with your supporting documents. These could include Certificate of Disposition, a sworn statement detailing why your record should be expunged and any other relevant documents that support your argument.
Once you have gathered the documentation and completed the application, it will be submitted to the court that presided over your original case.
A copy of the application will be submitted to the District Attorney of the county where the conviction happened. The DA has 45 days to object to the application. In the case that the DA does in fact object, then a hearing is required. If the judge doesn’t deny the application a hearing may be requested as well.
During a hearing, the applicant and attorney will present an argument and evidence to support the records being sealed. The judge will then take everything into consideration and issue a ruling that grants or denies the sealing of the records.
Do you need a lawyer to expunge a record?
No, hiring a lawyer isn’t necessary to have your criminal record sealed. However, having an experienced defense attorney process the application for you will increase the chances of receiving a favorable ruling. An attorney can help make sure that the application is properly filled out. Even more importantly, if a hearing is requested, an attorney can effectively argue that your convictions should be sealed to the judge and/or district attorney. Considering the benefits of having a criminal record sealed, it’s best to have an experienced New York State attorney guide you through the process.
What happens when a criminal record is sealed?
When a criminal record is sealed, material related to the crime is erased– fingerprints, mugshots, DNA samples, etc. That being said a file still exists about your conviction that can only be seen under limited circumstances by law enforcement, prosecutors, the military, or certain employers such as police, child care, schools and hospitals.
Contact attorney Andrew DeLuca to expunge your record
If you have a conviction that meets the criteria outlined above or if you have further questions about your specific record, contact a New York expungement attorney. A felony conviction complicates the ability to obtain a job, professional licenses and attend school. Sealing your criminal record can help give you a clean slate and provide you with more opportunities.
Call Andrew DeLuca now at 518-245-9109 or fill out the form below to request a free consultation.