New York County Record Sealing
In New York County, over 75,000 summonses were filed in the NY Criminal Court system in 2016. Did all of these filings result in convictions? Probably not. But a good percentage may very well have, which means thousands of New York County residents are carrying a scarlet letter of “convict” on their record. Having this scarlet letter will make it more difficult for them to secure employment, a place to live, to apply to a higher educational institution, and so forth.
This is why it makes sense to consider sealing your criminal record. The New York Legislature passed a bill that was subsequently signed into law by the governor in 2017, which gives New York one of the most expansive record-sealing authorities in the entire country, according to the Collateral Consequences Resource Center.
Although expungement is not available in New York, sealing of criminal records is.
Under § 160.59 of the New York Criminal Procedure Law, you can request that a court seal up to two convictions. Though, only one conviction can be a felony. The only convictions excluded from the new law are sex offenses and violent felonies.
Once sealed, your criminal records would not be accessible by the public, but would remain available to law enforcement and certain licensing agencies.
Why You Should Seal Your Criminal Record
Researchers have discovered that when a job applicant reveals they have a criminal record, the chance of being hired is reduced by between fifteen and thirty percent. In addition, an applicant with a criminal record winds up with a significant decrease in the annual number of weeks worked by between six and eleven weeks, according to Prison Legal News.
This means a criminal record could result in you not being able to secure employment, which thereby makes it more difficult to secure a place to live, health insurance, retirement savings, and so forth.
Once your criminal record is sealed, it is not viewable by the public, including a prospective employer.
Cases That Can Be Sealed
If you were charged with a criminal offense, but no conviction was secured, you can immediately pursue a sealing order under New York Criminal Procedure Law § 160.50. Fortunately, non-conviction cases are typically sealed automatically so there may not even be a need to file a motion with a court.
If you were convicted, under the 2017 sealing law, you are eligible to have up to two convictions sealed. As mentioned, only one can be a felony, according § 160.59(2)(a). In addition, multiple convictions committed as part of the same crime are categorized as a single conviction under § 160.59(1)(a), according to the aforementioned Collateral Consequences Resource Center article.
Speak to a New York County Criminal Record Sealing Lawyer Today
The steps necessary to get a criminal conviction sealed are complex requiring proper navigation of a series of rules and regulations. This is why it makes sense to hire a New York County criminal record sealing lawyer to discuss your legal options. To learn more, contact Levy & Rizzo, LLC, the Clean Slate Attorneys today for further assistance.