Rockland County Record Sealing
If you live in Rockland County, or elsewhere in New York, and you have a criminal record, there is a new law that took effect in 2017 that dramatically expands the ability to seal your record. The new law, codified in New York Criminal Procedure Law § 160.59, means that if you have two misdemeanor convictions, or one felony and one misdemeanor conviction, you can pursue sealing your criminal record. Though, your last conviction must have been at least 10 years ago. The new sealing statute means that New York features one of the broadest and most accessible sealing statutes in the entire country.
Why You Should Seal Your Criminal Records
Sealing your record in Rockland County is extremely important because having a record that is publicly accessible can prevent you from obtaining a good-paying job, from renting an apartment, from applying for certain types of employment, from gaining admittance of a higher education institution, and so forth. Many people have described a criminal record as a scarlet letter. This comparison is appropriate considering the immediate associations people make when they learn you have a criminal record. A recent survey of employers revealed that if they encounter a job applicant with a criminal record, they automatically assume the applicant will have a poor work ethic and be more prone to abuse drugs and alcohol. So, if you qualify, you should seal your criminal records.
Although expungement is not available in New York, sealing of criminal records is.
Prior to the passage of § 160.59, there was only a specific set of records that could get sealed. Those records involved criminal cases where the charges were completely dismissed.
What To Do If Your Conviction is Less Than 10 Years Old
If your conviction occurred less than ten years ago, the new statute is inapplicable, meaning you cannot have those records sealed. As a result, your conviction will still be a matter of public record available to anyone who wants to pay a $55 fee and obtain your criminal record online.
Understanding the Differences and Distinctions Between Sealing Statutes
There are generally three main types of sealing statutes in New York – CPL 160.50, CPL 160.55, and the newly enacted CPL 160.59. Getting your record sealed under CPL 160.50 provides the broadest protection since that statutes requires that your arrest record be destroyed. CPL 160.55 allows you to seal a record if you were charged with a criminal offense, but is ultimately convicted of a minor infraction. As mentioned above, CPL 160.59 allows you to seal two misdemeanors or one misdemeanor and one felony if the last conviction occurred ten or more years ago. You should also know that the new statute does not apply to violent offense convictions or sex offender convictions.
Speak to a Rockland County Criminal Record Sealing Lawyer
Take action right away to determine whether you qualify to have your criminal record sealed in Rockland County. Speak to an experienced criminal record sealing lawyer right away. To learn more, contact Levy & Rizzo, LLC, the Clean Slate Attorneys today for further assistance.