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Can I Get My Crime Expunged?

“A criminal record can follow you the rest of your life.”

You have probably heard this statement in your life, possibly many times. However, until you have a criminal record, you cannot truly appreciate how one lapse in judgment can haunt you and put a cloud over many of the things you do for the rest of your life. Fortunately, you may be able to do something about your criminal record in New York. Some criminal cases qualify for expungement.

To determine if your criminal case qualifies for expungement, contact our New York criminal defense attorney. The laws regarding expungements in New York recently changed. Therefore, it may be a good idea to talk with a criminal defense attorney to determine whether your case may now qualify for expungement.

Criminal Records in New York — Expunged or Sealed

New York, unlike some states, does not have a procedure for expunging (wiping away) a criminal record. However, the state does have laws allowing you to have your criminal case sealed in certain circumstances. In some cases, the court may automatically seal a record after one year for not guilty verdicts, most traffic violations, and most crimes committed by a minor. Check with our New York criminal defense attorney to see if your case is eligible to be sealed automatically by the court.

When a court record is sealed, it does not go away. However, the record is no longer available to the public. Only a few limited people can access the sealed criminal record including:

  • You;
  • Someone you authorize to ask for the record on your behalf;
  • If you apply for a job for which you will carry a gun, the potential employer can access the file;
  • Parole officers if you are arrested while on probation or parole; and,
  • A law enforcement agency with court permission.

Sealing or Expunging Other Criminal Records in New York

Until changes in New York’s criminal code, you could not seal a record for a misdemeanor or felony. However, the changes in the law greatly broadened the number of criminal cases that may be sealed in New York.

As under the previous law, cases must meet strict requirements to be eligible for sealing. If your case meets the following conditions, you might be entitled to have up to two convictions sealed by the court:

  • The conviction is more than 10 years old from the date of conviction or release from jail, if jail time was served;
  • The crime does not involve a violent felony, sex offense, or a class A felony; and,
  • Only one of the two criminal convictions you are petitioning the court to be sealed is a felony.

You must file a petition with the court explaining under oath why the court should grant your petition to seal the criminal charges. The district attorney has up to 45 days to object to the sealing. After the 45-day deadline has expired, the court may seal the record without further hearing or conduct a hearing if necessary.

Contact Our New York Criminal Defense Attorney for More Information

If the district attorney objects or you do not complete the application correctly, your petition for sealing criminal cases can be denied. Furthermore, it can be difficult to draft a petition that accurately and sufficiently explains why the court should seal a criminal case.

Our New York criminal defense attorneys can help you through each step of the process to have your criminal records sealed. Sealing your past criminal case can open doors that have previously been closed to you because of your criminal record.

Contact the Law Office of Mark J. Sacco team today to discuss how we can help you through each step of the process to have your criminal records sealed. Sealing your past criminal case can open doors that have previously been closed to you because of your criminal record.

Posted in: Criminal Defense