Bronx Record Sealing Lawyer

A conviction for a criminal offense could carry negative consequences far beyond any court-imposed sentence. Any conviction will result in the creation of a criminal record that could affect your ability to rent an apartment or get a job.

Unfortunately, there is no process to permanent expunge or erase a criminal record in New York. However, the state does maintain a procedure that may allow you to seal your criminal record to keep it a secret from everyone except for specific parties under specific circumstances. For the process to be successful, it is crucial for applicants to take the proper steps. Therefore, it is essential to work with an experienced Bronx record sealing lawyer.

A practiced defense attorney can serve as a guide throughout the process. They can work with you to determine whether you qualify for the program, to gather the necessary paperwork, and to submit that paperwork to the proper court.

The Legal Process for Sealing a Record

Individuals with criminal convictions may petition a court to seal their record. This will not result in the elimination of the criminal record but will allow a person not to have to worry about it showing up in employment most searches.

Many people with records can take advantage of this program. However, there are a few notable exceptions that include convictions for sex offenses, violent felonies, and any Class A-1 felony.

Some people will not have to take any steps to have their records sealed. Under New York Criminal Procedure Law §160.50, courts must automatically seal any case that does not end in a conviction. However, for a conviction, an individual must petition the court to seal the record.

The Waiting Period

While most people are eligible for a record seal based on the nature of their conviction, they must also wait a set period before making the request. According to the New York State Criminal Procedure Law §160.59, this waiting period is ten years following the conclusion of the case.

This means that, if the conviction resulted in a jail sentence, that sentence must have ended ten years ago. Additionally, applicants must have no pending criminal charges. A Bronx record sealing lawyer could help determine whether a person is eligible for record sealing.

What Petitioners in The Bronx Need to Make the Request

While courts are generally amenable to a person’s request for a record seal, petitioners must still be sure to follow the required procedures. First, a person needs to identify the court where they will make the request. This is generally the court that handled the charge that is the subject of the seal.

A petitioner must also gather a collection of records to accompany the motion. These include:

  • A copy of the certificate of the disposition in the case
  • A sworn statement from the applicant concerning any other record sealing applications pending
  • A signed application
  • A sworn statement concerning which convictions the application wishes to be sealed
  • A sworn statement providing reasons for why the court should grant the request

Once the court receives this information, it decides whether to seal the records. The district attorney has the right to speak as to why the court should not grant the request, and a petitioner must serve their request upon the relevant District Attorney. A Bronx record sealing lawyer could help gather this information and guide the applicant through the process.

A Bronx Record Sealing Attorney Could Help

While you can never totally erase a criminal conviction, the state’s courts provide a method for a person to be able to offer a clean record for most employment and job opportunities. Known as sealing a record, this process can provide you with a clean slate.

Not every person is eligible for this program. Certain violent offenses or high-level felonies will disqualify someone. Even if you otherwise qualify, the law generally requires the completion of all jail or parole terms and a waiting period of ten years.

A Bronx record sealing lawyer could help you throughout the process. To learn more, call today.