Yonkers Record Sealing
Residents of Yonkers, Rochester, or elsewhere in New York, need to be aware of a new law that went into effect in 2017 that dramatically broadens the ability to have past criminal convictions sealed by a court.
You may be asking yourself, “why do I need to get my criminal record sealed?” In reality, having a publicly-viewable criminal record is akin to wearing a scarlet letter. A criminal record can impact your employment options, the ability to serve in the armed forces, the ability to vote, the ability to get a quality apartment, and so forth.
Although expungement is not available in New York, sealing of criminal records is.
New York does not allow you to have your criminal record expunged (i.e. destroyed). Instead, New York allows you to file an application to have your criminal records sealed. This would result in your records not being accessible to members of the general public, including prospective employers and prospective landlords.
New Law Enacted to Broaden Sealing Options for Yonkers Residents
The New York legislature recently passed a broadened sealing law affecting individuals with certain types of criminal conviction records. The new law, codified in § 160.59 of New York’s Criminal Procedure Law, provides for general sealing authority on an array of criminal convictions, if specific prerequisites are satisfied.
Steps to Take to Get Your Criminal Records Sealed
The new statute sets forth a specific process you need to follow in order to have your criminal records sealed. Those steps include:
- Preparing the written application that will formally request a seal of your criminal records. You will need to include supporting documentation such as a certificate of disposition for the conviction and a sworn statement providing the basis for why your prior conviction should be sealed.
- Submitting the application to the judge who sentenced you. If the judge who sentenced you is no longer on the bench, you can submit the application to any other judge currently sitting in the court where you were convicted. If you are attempting to seal more than one criminal record, you need to submit your application to the court in which you were convicted of the more serious crime. So, for example, if you have a misdemeanor conviction and a felony conviction on your record, submit your application to the court where you were convicted of the felony.
- Serve the application and supporting documentation on the District Attorney of the county where you were convicted.
- There is a 45-day window for the District Attorney to issue a response to the court stating whether they object to your sealing application.
- If the District Attorney objects to your application, a judge will conduct a hearing and may ask both sides for additional evidence so they can render a final decision.
- If the DA has no objection, then no hearing is necessary.
- The judge will issue a decision on your sealing application.
Yonkers Criminal Record Sealing Lawyers Ready 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. This is why it makes sense to hire a seasoned Yonkers criminal record sealing lawyer. To learn more, contact Levy & Rizzo, LLC, the Clean Slate Attorneys today for further assistance.