Buffalo Record Sealing
If your last criminal conviction was ten or more years ago, you are a law abiding citizen, and you have either two misdemeanors or one felony and one misdemeanor, you can now have your criminal records sealed under New York Criminal Procedure Law § 160.59. Having your records sealed can make a major difference in whether you can obtain certain types of employment, live in certain apartments, apply to college, join the military, and so forth. A seal effectively prohibits the general public from gaining access to your criminal records.
Understanding the Difference Between a Seal and an Expungement
The major distinction between having your records sealed versus having them expunged is that a seal does not eradicate your criminal record from existence. It simply creates a barrier between the general public and your records. This means a prospective employer or landlord conducting a background check cannot gain access to your criminal records, which may influence their decision to hire you or rent an apartment to you.
In contrast, an expungement effectively vacates and removes the convictions from your record. However, New York does not allow you to seek an expungement of a criminal conviction.
Eligibility for Sealing a Criminal Record in Buffalo
The new sealing law does not apply to any and all crimes. For example, if you were convicted of a sex crime or a violent offense, you cannot get those records sealed. The same goes for someone with two or more felonies on their record. Also, if your conviction was less than ten years ago, the new statute does not apply to you.
Process of Getting Your Records Sealed
If you do qualify under the new statute, there is a process to get your records sealed that you need be aware of. You must file a motion with the court and serve the District Attorney where you were convicted. Where you currently reside is not relevant when filing the motion. Your Buffalo sealing attorney can obtain your signed affirmation online or through the mail.
In addition to the actual motion, your Buffalo sealing attorney needs to include the following records:
- Certificate of disposition – this is a formal document from the court clerk where you were convicted, reflecting the final disposition and outcome of your criminal case. If such a document is not available, an explanation why you or your counsel cannot secure the paperwork;
- Sworn statement expressing your intent to seal records concerning an eligible offense.
- Sworn statement describing the conviction, or convictions, you now seek to have sealed; and
- Sworn statement detailing the legal basis and rationale as to why the court should grant your motion to have the records sealed.
Speak to a Buffalo Criminal Record Sealing Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Legal Options
As you can see, getting your records sealed involves a number of steps and submission of various documents. This is why it makes sense to retain the services of an experienced and skilled Buffalo criminal record sealing lawyer right away. To learn more, contact Levy & Rizzo, LLC, the Clean Slate Attorneys today for further assistance.