Until now, thousands of New Yorkers have been burdened by the negative consequences and stigma of having a criminal conviction in their past. These convictions often limit a persons ability to obtain employment or otherwise harm aspects of their lives. Wouldn’t you like the opportunity to seal the criminal record on mistakes made during your life, or the life of someone you care about?
The Law Offices of David W. Haber is pleased to announce the Legislature’s passing of a new bill which should help thousands of New Yorkers obtain a sealing of their criminal record. If you are a person who has had no criminal convictions in the past 10 years, and would like to apply for sealing of your misdemeanor and/or felony convictions, contact the Law Offices of David W. Haber to find out how we can help.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed the 2017-18 budget bill which includes a provision allowing for the sealing of certain adult criminal convictions. The new law, which will take effect in October of 2017, gives courts the discretion to seal up to two convictions (only one felony) for all crimes other than sex offenses, class A and violent felonies New York Criminal Procedure Law §160.59. It should be noted that the sealed convictions will still be available to law enforcement and some other licensing agencies.
To be eligible for the sealing of such convictions, among other things which will be discussed below, a person must wait until the end of a 10-year waiting period (which will run from the date of conviction/imposition of sentence or release from prison) §160.59(5).
As referenced above, individuals seeking the sealing of eligible convictions may request the sealing of two crimes, only one of which may be a felony §160.59(2) (a). Sealing may not be granted to individuals convicted of more than two crimes or more than one felony §160.59(3)(h). Further, persons with charges pending against them, or who have been convicted subsequent to the last conviction for which sealing is sought, are ineligible §160.59(3).
To obtain a sealing of your record, an individuals must make an application to the court where the conviction for the most serious offense was resolved, or to the court where the individual was last convicted if all offenses for which sealing is sought are of the same class §160.59(2)(a). Applicants will be required to submit an application containing a sworn statement detailing the reasons why sealing should be granted §160.59(2)(b)(v). The application would then be assigned to the sentencing judge, or county/supreme court if more than one sealing is sought §160.59(2)(d).
The District Attorney’s office must also be served with a copy of the application after which the People would have 45 days to object to the sealing application. If no objection is submitted, the court may decide the application without a hearing §160.59(6).
New York Criminal Procedure Law §160.59(7) states that:
In considering any such application, the sentencing judge or county or supreme court shall consider any relevant factors, including, but not limited to
- a) the amount of time that has elapsed since the defendant’s last conviction;
- b) the circumstances and seriousness of the offense for which the defendant is seeking relief, including whether the arrest charge was not an eligible offense;
- c) the circumstances and seriousness of any other offenses for which the defendant stands convicted;
- d) the character of the defendant, including any measures that the defendant has taken toward rehabilitation, such as participating in treatment programs, work or schooling, and participating in community service or other volunteer programs;
- e) any statements made by the victim of the offense for which the defendant is seeking relief;
- f) the impact of sealing the defendant’s record upon his or her rehabilitation and upon his or her successful productive reentry and reintegration into society; and
- g) the impact of sealing the defendant’s record on public safety and upon the public’s confidence in and respect for the law.