Syracuse Record Sealing
Numerous studies and anecdotal reports substantiate the claim that having a criminal record can significantly impact your ability to obtain a good-paying job, the ability to enlist in the military, the ability to exercise your right to vote in state, local, and federal elections, the ability to secure suitable housing, etc.
Although expungement is not available in New York, sealing of criminal records is.
Fortunately, the New York legislature recently took steps to help remedy this issue. They enacted a broad sealing law that allows individuals from Syracuse, Yonkers, Rochester, or elsewhere in New York with specific types of criminal conviction records to be sealed from public view.
The law, § 160.59 of New York’s Criminal Procedure Law, provides a general sealing authority for someone with a myriad of criminal convictions, if specific prerequisites are satisfied. For example, you can only have two misdemeanor convictions or one misdemeanor and one felony conviction sealed under the new law, and at least 10 years must have passed since your last conviction.
Is It Difficult to Get Your Records Sealed?
The process can be difficult, depending on your specific situation. Getting your records sealed is not as simple as filing a document with a court and waiting to hear back on a decision. In fact, the new law sets forth a specific set of steps an applicant needs to follow in order to have their criminal records sealed by a court, including:
Preparation of an application requesting that your criminal records be sealed.
Producing supporting documents with your application, including a certificate of disposition for the conviction and a notarized statement providing sworn testimony for the rationale underpinning your sealing request.
Filing the application in the court that sentenced you. Ideally, you should submit the application to the specific judge that oversaw your case. However, if the judge who sentenced you has retired or left the bench, you have the right to submit the application to any other judge currently sitting in the court where you were convicted.
If you have multiple convictions you are trying to have sealed, you should submit your application to the court where you were convicted of the more serious offense. This means if you have a misdemeanor criminal conviction and a felony criminal conviction on your record, it is important to submit the sealing application to the court that oversaw your felony case.
Serve the application and supporting documentation on the District Attorney’s Office located in the county where you were convicted (once again, of the most serious offense).
The DA has the discretionary authority to object to your sealing application. If the DA does not object, the court will proceed with reviewing the merits of your application. If they do object, a hearing will need to be held where you would have to present additional evidence to substantiate your application.
Syracuse Criminal Record Sealing Lawyers Here to Help
As you can see, the process of getting your criminal records sealed can get complicated very quickly and may involve a court appearance and the submission of evidence to a judge. This is why it makes sense to hire a skilled Syracuse criminal record sealing attorney. To learn more, contact Levy & Rizzo, LLC, the Clean Slate Attorneys today for further assistance.