Dealing With a Criminal Record in New York: What Are Your Options

Criminal record with a handcuff and fingerprintsIn New York, expungement of criminal records isn’t allowed, but you could request to seal your criminal records. These sealed cases would then be eliminated from your criminal record. Your photo, palm prints, and fingerprints would likewise be destroyed, but your complete rap sheet would still be kept in a confidential file that could only be released under specific circumstances.

NY Sealing Law shares some information about the subject.

Sealing Criminal Records

Record sealing in the New York was only previously available for individuals with non-conviction criminal records and drug treatment and diversion dispositions. Fortunately, the revised law that would take effect in October 2017 would also allow sealing of two convictions at most, and only one of them could be a felony, for all criminal convictions other than violent felonies, class A felonies, and sex offenses, following a waiting period of 10 years, starting from your conviction date or your release from prison.

In addition, the bill amended a human rights statute to apply to sealed convictions under the new law to forbid occupational licensing agencies and employers from taking negative action or discriminate due to sealed convictions. Take note, however, that criminal record sealing does not mean erasure of the record because certain individuals or agencies could still view it under the following circumstances:

  • You – in the event that you need a copy.
  • Gun license agencies.
  • Potential employers – if you’re applying as a peace or law enforcement officer.
  • The military – if you’re planning on enlisting.
  • Law enforcement officers and prosecutors.
  • Your probation or parole officer – if you’re arrested while still under probation or parole.

If You Can’t Seal Your Criminal Record

In the event that you can’t seal your criminal record, you could try and get a Certificate of Good Conduct or Certificate of Relief from Disabilities to increase your chances of getting a decent job.

It’s important to note that getting your criminal record sealed isn’t easy and would involve extremely specific requirements and appealing to relevant authorities to have you record sealed. That said, consider getting an experienced lawyer to help you out.