NYC Criminal Record Sealing Attorney
Making Second Chances a Reality - Call Us Today, 718-538-5743
Throughout New York’s history, a criminal conviction in this state was a permanent stain on a person’s record. No matter how someone grew or changed as a person, no matter how many good deeds they did or what they accomplished, that conviction would follow them forever. Very recently, things changed. Even though there is still no way to expunge, or erase criminal convictions, there is now a way to seal such convictions, even felonies, making them invisible to background checks, potential employees, and most government agencies. Finally, there’s a way to put your bad choices behind you and start fresh!
The Sealing Law passed in October 2017 is the broadest sealing bill ever passed in New York. All misdemeanors and many felonies are now eligible for permanent sealing.
Contact our firm for your free consultation today.
At The Law Offices of Goldman & Associates, we believe that all people are greater than their worst act, and that good people should not be held back by poor choices they made years, perhaps decades, ago. Our experienced attorneys can help you determine whether you are eligible for sealing, assess your chances of success, and help you through every step of the process. This includes preparing your motion for sealing, filing it with the District Attorney’s office and the Court, and fighting for you in court. You will be dealing with experienced prosecutors and skeptical judges, so having the right lawyers on your side can make the difference between success and failure.
Why Seek Sealing?
It is widely understood that if someone is convicted of a crime, they will be punished by being required to do time in jail or prison, pay a fine or do community service. Less known are the devastating consequences that can haunt you years, even decades, after you’ve served your sentence. These “collateral consequences” can be even more damaging than the original sentence.
Employment: A criminal conviction, even if it was a long time ago, can create a substantial barrier to employment. Many employers are reluctant to overlook a problematic background check, even if the offense it reveals was many years ago. Studies have shown that these barriers are even more pronounced for women and people of color. When people with criminal histories do find work, statistics show that they are often paid substantially less than people without prior convictions. One study suggests that people with criminal convictions earned 40 percent less than people without such convictions! Getting a conviction sealed means that prospective employers see you, and not your conviction!
Immigration: A criminal conviction can result in ICE detention or even deportation out of the United States. These risks are even more pronounced in the current political climate. Having a conviction sealed could increase your chances of staying free, and staying in the country.
Other Collateral Consequences: A criminal conviction can create barriers to housing, guardianship/adoption, ability to take out student loans, eligibility for public benefits such as food stamps or welfare, and more. Sealing can help lift these barriers for good.
Who is Eligible for Sealing?
- Under current New York law, no more than two total offenses can be sealed, and not more than one felony.
- There must be at least 10 years since the last conviction, excluding any intervening periods of incarceration.
- An applicant for sealing cannot have any pending or open criminal cases.
- Certain convictions are ineligible for sealing, but having one of those convictions on your record doesn’t prevent you from sealing other, eligible offenses.
While the law allows for sealing of a wide variety of offenses, there are some that are, at present, ineligible for sealing. Those include:
- Most sex offenses, including all offenses requiring registration as a sex offender
- All violent felonies (though some charges, like Robbery in the 3rd degree, SOUND violent but are classified as non-violent under New York law)
- Class A felonies
- Felony conspiracies or attempts to commit ineligible offenses
As part of your FREE consultation, we will review your convictions and advise you as to whether you are currently eligible to apply for sealing. Visit our blog to find out more about New York's record sealing process.
Call us today at 718-538-5743 to schedule a FREE consultation and take the first step toward your second chance!