New York Drug Record Sealing
Seal Your New York Drug Conviction Record, and Take Back Your Future
Drug arrests number about 55,000 each year in New York City, including nearly 15,000 felony and misdemeanor drug arrests annually in the Bronx alone. Drug arrests make up between 20 and 25% of all arrests in New York, and felony drug prosecutions result in a conviction and sentence about 70% of the time.
A drug conviction may mean incarceration for a lengthy prison sentence, or it may involve diversion into treatment followed by community supervision (parole or probation). Regardless of the sentence imposed, one thing is certain: a criminal record that is viewable in a background check by future employers, landlords, banks and other entities. Having a drug conviction on your record doesn’t tell the whole story about you, but it is often enough for a decision maker to decide that you are an undesirable employee, tenant, borrower, etc. It’s time to take back your life from the power your criminal record holds over you. Call Levy & Rizzo, LLC to discuss the possibility of having your New York drug conviction record sealed.
New York’s New Record Sealing Law
New York Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) §160.59 became effective October 7, 2017. This law allows persons to seal the records of up to two misdemeanor convictions or one misdemeanor and one felony conviction, provide the offenses are not violent felonies, class A felonies, sex offenses or other excluded offenses. The conviction must also be at least ten years old. Drug convictions which may be sealed under this law include:
- Possession of a Controlled Substance
- Sale of a Controlled Substance
- Using Drug Paraphernalia
- Possession or Sale of Marijuana
New York drug laws classify possession and other offenses by varying degrees according to the type of substance and/or the amount of drug involved. The most serious drug offenses, including some possession offenses, are classified as Class A felonies and therefore would not be subject to sealing under New York’s record sealing law. Contact Levy & Rizzo, LLC for a free consultation regarding your criminal record and whether it is eligible to be sealed under CPL §160.59. If eligible, you will need to prepare a motion with documentation that convinces a judge your record should be sealed, and in some cases a hearing may be held if the DA opposes your motion. Our New York criminal defense attorneys can help you with all phases of your record sealing case, from preparing the application to arguing your side in court.
Drug Diversion and Record Sealing
New York also has other record sealing laws which are available to persons convicted of drug offenses. For instance, if you were convicted of a non-Class A felony drug offense, and you haven’t been convicted of a Class A felony or violent felony in the previous ten years nor been previously adjudicated as a second violent felony offender or persistent violent felony offender, then you may be eligible for conditional sealing of your record under New York Criminal Procedure Law §160.58. Conditional sealing means that your record is sealed if you complete the terms of a diversion (treatment) program, but that record can be unsealed if you are later arrested for another crime. This law can seal a Class B or lower drug felony and up to three prior misdemeanor drug convictions.
Diversion is often an excellent outcome for someone arrested on drug charges, but bear in mind that agreeing to diversion means you are foregoing a trial and entering a guilty plea. Depending upon your individual situation, it may be in your interests to fight the charges in court. Talk to an experienced New York criminal defense lawyer before you agree to an offer of diversion.
Determinate Sentences, Resentencing and Record Sealing
New York began imposing determinate sentences on drug offenders in 2004, but persons convicted of drug offenses prior to 2004 were given indeterminate sentences. In 2009, amendments to the law lowered the range of determinate sentences and also allowed certain convicted drug offenders to apply for resentencing. The law was further amended in 2011 to apply to people under community supervision, meaning people on parole under an indeterminate sentence could also apply for resentencing. Upon resentencing, you may receive a determinate sentence which is lower than your current indeterminate sentence. Also, you may be eligible to have your record sealed at this point. If you were convicted in 2004 and are serving or served an indeterminate sentence either through incarceration or parole, contact Levy & Rizzo, LLC to see if you may be eligible for resentencing and/or sealing of your criminal record.
Our Experienced New York Record Sealing Lawyers are Here to Help You get Your Drug Record Sealed
Call Levy & Rizzo, LLC at 718-585-3400 for a free consultation with an experienced New York criminal defense attorney about the possibility of having your drug record sealed.