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Criminal Record Sealing Lawyers in Schenectady, NY

Your Path to Peace of Mind Starts Here

Although New York does not allow for expungement of criminal records in most cases, the state does, however, allow eligible individuals to get their criminal records sealed. Some marijuana misdemeanors are automatically expunged, or “erased,” but besides that, record sealing is currently the only option for people who want to gain a fresh start.

Our Schenectady criminal record sealing attorneys can guide you through the record sealing process every step of the way, compiling the necessary documents and information required on your behalf. We will work tirelessly to help you move forward from your past by working to get your record sealed.

To get started, contact us at (518) 299-0314!

Sealed Records vs. Expunged: What’s the Difference?

Record sealing is not the same as expungement. The main difference between sealing and expungement is that a sealed criminal record still exists, while expungement essentially erases and deletes a criminal record as if it never happened. Again, New York does not offer expungements, only record sealing.

Am I Eligible to Apply for Criminal Record Sealing?

Not just anyone can get their criminal record sealed in New York, as individuals must meet certain eligibility requirements to apply for sealing. Remember that being eligible to apply for criminal record sealing will not guarantee that your conviction will get sealed. Instead, it means that a judge will consider sealing your record.

With this in mind, you must meet the following criteria to be eligible for criminal record sealing in New York:

  • At least 10 years must have passed between your sentencing or release from prison – whichever is later – and your application to the court
  • You have no current or pending criminal charges
  • You have no recent criminal convictions
  • You have not already obtained sealing of the maximum number of convictions allowed
  • You have 2 convictions or less on your criminal record. This means that you have no more than 2 misdemeanor convictions OR 1 felony and 1 misdemeanor conviction.

What Crimes Can be Sealed in NY?

The state of New York allows 2 criminal convictions to be sealed, with only 1 of them being a felony. All misdemeanor convictions, other than those requiring registration as a sex offender, are eligible for sealing, and some felonies are also eligible. If you were convicted of several crimes for the same offense, however, they may be treated as a single conviction in the sealing process.

What Crimes Cannot Be Sealed in NY?

Crimes that are perceived as a substantial risk to the public are generally not eligible for sealing. As such, crimes that cannot be sealed in New York include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Most sex offenses, including those that require sex offender registration
  • Certain offenses defined by statute as “violent crimes,” even if no actual violence was involved
  • Crimes categorized as class “A” felonies, the most serious crimes under New York law
  • Certain other felonies defined in the statute

Are Certain Crimes Automatically Sealed?

Certain convictions can be sealed automatically without you having to do anything. Cases that are automatically sealed in New York include:

  • Cases where you got a Good Result
  • Crimes Committed by Children
  • Crimes committed by Youthful Offenders
  • Violations and Traffic Infractions like disorderly conduct and trespass are partially sealed

Who Has Access to Sealed Records?

As we discussed before, the key difference between expunging and sealing criminal records is that sealed records still exist, meaning they can be accessed by certain people, such as:

  • You;
  • Any person that you authorize to ask for your records;
  • An employer if you apply for a job that involves carrying a firearm;
  • Your parole officer if you are arrested while on probation or parole; and
  • Law enforcement or a prosecutor by a court order signed by a judge, but this mainly occurs if you are arrested for a new crime that in some way is related to the sealed crime.

Can Employers See Sealed Records?

Many people with a criminal record worry that even if they get their records sealed, they could still miss out on job opportunities, housing, loans, and more. Regarding record sealing and employment in New York, employers are NOT allowed to ask about or respond to your sealed conviction, unless you’re applying to be a police or peace officer. If a job application has a question asking about prior convictions, employers must specify that the question doesn’t concern sealed convictions.

Give Us a Call at (518) 299-0314!

It can be confusing to know whether or not you’re eligible for criminal record sealing, even if you believe you meet the criteria above. Luckily, our experienced record sealing lawyers know the laws, processes, and considerations involved in these matters, allowing us to give you the answers and guidance you need to move forward with your life.

Schedule your free consultation today!

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