Rochester Record Sealing
In the United States, when someone makes a mistake, there is a generally held belief that they should get a second chance. That is what this country is built upon – opportunity, for one and all. If you have an unsuccessful business venture, you have the ability to declare bankruptcy, have most of your debts wiped away, and you can start anew with another business venture. But if you make a mistake and wind up with a misdemeanor criminal conviction or felony conviction, you could be paying for that mistake for the rest of your life. How? Through the scarlet letter that is a criminal record.
Although expungement is not available in New York, sealing of criminal records is.
Whether you live in Rochester or elsewhere in New York, a criminal record can have a significant effect on a variety of areas including job opportunities, the ability to vote in state and federal elections, obtaining housing, qualifying for certain public services, serving in the military, and obtaining loans for higher education. New York, unfortunately, does not afford residents the ability to expunge their criminal record. Rather, New York enables you to have your records sealed
New Law Goes Into Effect Broadening Sealing Opportunities
The New York legislature recently passed a massive expansion of the state’s sealing law for criminal conviction records – § 160.59 of New York’s Criminal Procedure Law. The new statute provides an opportunity for you to seal an array of criminal convictions, if specific conditions are satisfied.
Under the new law, if you have two convictions on your record (either two misdemeanors or one misdemeanor and one felony), you can have these records sealed. Though, not every conviction can be sealed. For example, these offenses cannot be sealed:
- Convicted of a sex offense;
- Felony crimes involving violent acts; and
- Class A felonies.
In addition to the above-described convictions not being eligible, you also need to satisfy the prerequisites below in order for a Rochester court to consider your sealing request:
- At least a decade must have elapsed between the sentencing of your last conviction and filing a request to have your conviction(s) sealed;
- You are not currently facing criminal charges; and
- You were convicted of no more than one felony crime.
Impact of a Seal
If you meet the criterion set forth under the new state statute, your sealed criminal records will not be viewable by the public, including most employers. There are only a few limited ways a sealed criminal record may be viewed, including:
- Any person you designate;
- An employer if you are applying for a job that involves carrying a firearm (e.g. police officer); and/or
- Your parole officer if you are arrested while on probation or parole.
Speak to a Rochester Criminal Record Sealing Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Legal Options
As you can see, getting your records sealed involves a myriad of steps and actions to ensure you qualify. This is why you should retain the services of an experienced Rochester criminal record sealing lawyer To learn more, contact Levy & Rizzo, LLC, the Clean Slate Attorneys today for further assistance.