New York Expungement Lawyer

Jeffrey LichtmanWhen a person is convicted of a crime in New York, that crime is placed upon their criminal record. While many states have adopted a procedure where a person may get that record cleaned, or expunged, there is no procedure for a total erasure, or expungement, or a person’s criminal record in New York.

There are, however, certain circumstances under which a criminal record might be sealed. This sealing does not erase a person’s criminal record, but does make it far less visible to the public.

A New York expungement lawyer can guide you through the current record sealing process. Contact a qualified expungement lawyer today.

Current Expungement ProcedureUnder some limited circumstances, a person’s criminal record will be sealed after one year without needing to take any action. Examples of this include: Cases where the verdict was not guilty, Cases where the crime was committed by a child, and All traffic violations with the exception of Driving While Ability Impaired and Loitering for the Purpose of Engaging in Prostitution.This procedure is in place so that minor offenses and non-convictions will not permanently impact a person’s life.

For almost all misdemeanor and felony convictions, there is currently no procedure in place to have those records sealed. The only exception to this is if the crime is classified as being committed as a result of drug abuse.

There is also a new court rule that will go into effect in October of 2017 that will broaden the scope for when a record might be sealed.  Once a person’s criminal record is sealed, it is only visible to certain government agencies, when applying for a job with very particular requirements, and if a person is charged with a crime in the future.

Record Sealing

In order to get this record sealed, a person needs to comply with all diversionary programs, have no other pending criminal charges, and complete all non-diversionary portions of the sentence. If all three of these conditions are met, a motion can be made with the court to seal the record. More information about this record-sealing procedure can be found at the New York courts website.

Record-sealing attorneys help clients who meet the criteria to file this motion and argue for its acceptance in court.  If a conviction was the result of drug-abuse and the defendant has completed all of the terms of their diversionary programs, contact a New York expungement lawyer today.

Changes in October 2017

With the passage of a new portion of New York Criminal Procedure Law 160.59, the range of convictions that can be sealed will greatly expand. However, there will still be strict categories of people to whom this new law will apply. In order to take advantage of this new procedure the convictions must be:

  • More than 10 years old. This date begins upon the date of conviction if no jail time was imposed, or upon release from jail
  • The charges must not be a sex offense, a violent felony, or a class A felony
  • The sealing can be requested for a maximum of two convictions, only one of which may be a felony
  • If a person’s convictions meet the above criteria, a petition is to be made to the court where the more serious of the two convictions was entered. The petition must contain a sworn statement of reasons for why the sealing be granted.

    The district attorney has 45 days to object to the record being sealed. If no objection is made, the court may decide to seal the record without a hearing.

    When such a petition is granted, all official records of the convictions will be sealed and not made available to any private person or public agency with the exceptions of courts, corrections agencies, firearm licensing authorities, and law enforcement.

    How a New York Expungement Lawyer Can Help

    While the court system and law enforcement will still know that a person was convicted of a crime, all private organizations will not. This means that a criminal background check for a job application will come back without those convictions being visible.

    Other benefits include restoring the right to vote, and clearing the path for student loan applications and certain housing assistance. 

    A New York expungement lawyer can help people eligible under the current law to complete the necessary paperwork and make their arguments in court.  Contact an attorney today to see how they can help get your criminal record sealed.