Westchester County Record Sealing
If you are convicted of a crime, the ramifications of that conviction may remain with you for years, or even decades, into the future. It is a sad truth – former inmates who attempt to reenter society often face tremendous obstacles simply because they have a criminal record. In fact, multiple studies have revealed that someone with a criminal record who has the exact same set of skills and experience as someone without a criminal record faces a much lower hire rate and call back rate. This often results in facing financial hardship and even the temptation to resort to criminal activities.
Employment difficulties are not all. If you have a criminal record, you could face challenges getting an apartment since many landlords om Westchester County do not want to rent to a convict. Criminal records can also affect whether you can enlist in the military.
Although expungement is not available in New York, sealing of criminal records is.
Residents of Westchester County and the surrounding areas of New York who have been burdened with a criminal record now may have an opportunity to seal those records pursuant to New York Criminal Procedure Law § 160.59.
Under this new state law, if someone has a record containing two misdemeanor convictions or one felony conviction and one misdemeanor conviction, they can request that a court seal those criminal records. A seal is important because it prohibits the general public, including prospective employers, from gaining access to your criminal record. When a seal is in effect, the only people who can view your criminal record are law enforcement authorities and certain licensing agencies.
New Law Not for Everyone
The new law dramatically expands New York’s sealing statute to the point where the Big Apple is now on the forefront of offering seals to people with prior convictions. Nevertheless, there are a myriad of exceptions and restrictions you need to be aware of. For example, the new law does not apply to you if your last conviction was less than 10 years ago. You also cannot have your criminal records sealed if you were convicted of a sex offense or a violent offense.
New York Sealing Statutes You Need to Be Aware Of
There are three sealing statutes you should be aware of – CPL 160.50, CPL 160.55, and CPL 160.59. Someone who was arrested, but not conviction resulted, can utilize CPL 160.50. This statute even includes a requirement that your arrest record be destroyed.
If you were charged with a serious criminal offense but were later convicted of an infraction, you can utilize CPL 160.55.
Finally, the newly enacted CPL 160.59 allows you to seal two misdemeanors or one misdemeanor and one felony if the last conviction occurred more than ten years ago.
Speak to a Westchester County Criminal Record Sealing Lawyer
Take action right away to determine whether you qualify to have your criminal record sealed in Westchester 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.