New York Record Sealing Eligibility
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New York’s new record sealing law allows you to have certain nonviolent misdemeanor and felony convictions sealed from public view, enabling you to move on with your life without the cloud of a long ago criminal conviction hanging forever over your head. There are many rules and conditions regarding what offenses are eligible for sealing and who may apply. Read below for the facts about eligibility for record sealing under New York Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) §160.59. For fastest service, call Levy & Rizzo, LLC in New York at 718-585-3400 to speak with one of our local New York record sealing lawyers who can discuss your eligibility with you over a free consultation.
In a nutshell, CPL §160.59 may allow you to seal the record of conviction of one misdemeanor and one nonviolent felony, or two misdemeanors, provided the convictions are at least ten years old with no other open arrests in the meantime. This law could be used to seal the record of a DWI, drug possession or other crime, relieving you of the stigma of a criminal record.
Offenses Eligible for Record Sealing
CPL §160.59 defines eligible offenses by saying what types of offenses are not eligible for sealing. These include convictions for homicide, any violent felony as defined under the law, a Class A felony, a sex offense or one that requires registration as a sex offender, and conviction for felony conspiracy or attempt to commit a crime which is excluded as an eligible offense. All other convictions which are not specifically excluded are eligible to be sealed.
The record sealing law allows you to seal the records for one misdemeanor and one felony, or two misdemeanors, that meet the definition of an eligible offense. For the purposes of this law, multiple eligible offenses count as one eligible offense when committed as part of the same criminal transaction, as defined in CPL §40.10. This is very important considering the strict limits placed on the number of convictions which may be sealed under the law. At Levy & Rizzo, LLC, our attorneys are experienced New York criminal defense lawyers who are knowledgeable about New York criminal law and procedure and can help you get the most out of New York’s criminal record sealing law.
Ten-Year Time Period for Prior Convictions to be Sealed
At least ten years must have passed since the imposition of a sentence on the latest conviction you are applying to have sealed. If you were sentenced to incarceration, including incarceration imposed in conjunction with probation, at least ten years must have passed from the date of your latest release from incarceration on that matter.
Any period of time you spent incarcerated after the conviction for which sealing is sought is excluded from the ten-year period. In other words, the ten-year period is extended by a period of time equal to the time served.
Record Sealing Application Facts
There are several required components of an application to have your record sealed. For instance, you must include a copy of the certificate of disposition or similar documentation for any convicted offense, or an explanation of why that documentation is not available. You must include a sworn statement regarding whether you have filed or intend to file an application to seal any other conviction, and you must include a copy of any other application filed. You also need to include a sworn statement regarding the conviction or convictions you are seeking to have sealed, a sworn statement of the reason or reasons why the court should grant your request, including documentation that supports your reasons.
This application is filed with the court and also served on the District Attorney or District Attorneys in charge of your case or cases; those DAs have 45 days to notify the court if they object to you having your records sealed. If this occurs, there will be a hearing on whether to grant or deny your application.
What Can Cause Summary Denial of Your Application
Your application could be summarily denied for a number of reasons, including:
- Applicant is a sex offender
- Applicant already obtained sealing for the maximum number of offenses allowed under CPL §160.58
- Applicant already obtained the maximum sealing under CPL §160.59
- The required time period has not yet been satisfied
- Applicant has an arrest or charge pending that has not yet been disposed
- Conviction of any crime after the date of entry of judgment of the last conviction for which sealing is sought
- Applicant failed to provide the court with the required sworn statement of reasons to grant sealing
- Conviction of two or more felonies or more than two crimes
How the Judge Decides whether to Grant Your Motion for Sealing Records
If your application is opposed by the DA and not subject to mandatory, summary denial, the judge conducts a hearing to consider the evidence offered by either party regarding why sealing should be granted or denied. A hearing is not required if the DA doesn’t oppose your application. This is why having an experienced New York criminal defense attorney on your side from the very start is so important. Levy & Rizzo, LLC will work hard to complete your application so that it is accepted by the judge and unopposed by the District Attorney. If a hearing is required, our lawyers will represent you in court and put your case in the best light before the judge.
The judge in a hearing on record sealing can consider any relevant evidence submitted by either side. Some of the relevant factors the judge is required to consider include the following:
- Amount of time since last conviction
- Circumstances and seriousness of the offense, including whether the arrest charge was not an eligible offense
- Circumstances and seriousness of any other convicted offenses
- Victim statements
- Impact of sealing on your rehabilitation and successful and productive reentry and reintegration into society
- Impact of sealing on public safety and the public’s confidence in and respect for the law
We can help address these factors in the initial application, along with supporting documentation, and can further bring them out in any required hearing, presenting evidence on your behalf in a compelling and persuasive way. Levy & Rizzo, LLC was formed precisely for this purpose.
Call Levy & Rizzo, LLC for Help with Record Sealing from Experienced and Dedicated New York Record Sealing Lawyers
Call Levy & Rizzo, LLC at 718-585-3400 for a free consultation regarding your eligibility for record sealing. Don’t put off inquiring about this valuable legal service which may remove the stigma of a criminal record and help you move beyond your past and toward a brighter future.