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New York State Sealing of Prior Convictions 

Mineola Sealing of Prior Convictions Lawyer

Attorney for Criminal Record Sealing in Manhattan and Brooklyn

When an individual is convicted of a criminal offense in New York State, the conviction becomes a part of that person's criminal history. In some states, there are procedures through which a person could have their criminal record cleared, or expunged. In New York, there is no law that allows for the expungement or complete clearing of a criminal record.

If you have a conviction in your past, you are probably tired of having the issue come up every time you apply for a job or try to find a new place to live. The good news is that you might qualify to have your prior conviction sealed, which means that your past can no longer be used against you. At The Law Firm of Gregory J. Watford, Esq., PLLC, we are ready to help you put your past behind you once and for all, so that you can get the fresh start you deserve.

NYC Lawyer for the Sealing of Criminal Records

The statute that addresses most criminal record sealing cases in New York State is Section 160.59 of the Criminal Procedure Law (CPL 160.59). The process for getting a record sealed can be very complex, and it generally requires the help of a qualified record sealing lawyer. The first step in the process is determining whether the record in question qualifies for sealing. In order to be eligible for sealing, your record may include, at most, two misdemeanor convictions or one felony and one misdemeanor conviction. Additionally, a minimum of ten years must have passed either from the date of your most recent conviction or the date you were released from prison, whichever is later. You must also not have any criminal charges pending against you at the time of your request.

It is important to note that certain convictions cannot be sealed. If you were convicted of a violent felony, a sexual offense, or any Class A felony, you will not qualify to have that conviction sealed. You should also be aware that certain drug offenses may qualify for sealing through a similar process outlined in Section 160.58 of the Criminal Procedure Law. The ten-year waiting period may not apply in such cases. 

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can file a petition for sealing with the court that issued the most serious of your convictions. Your petition must include a sworn affidavit listing your justifications for why the court should approve your request for sealing. The district attorney will then have 45 days in which to file an objection to your sealing request. If there is no objection filed, the court has the authority to seal your record without the need for a hearing. If the district attorney does file an objection, you will be required to attend a hearing where you can make your case as to why your record should be sealed.

The Benefits of Record Sealing

While sealing your record does not erase your convictions entirely, you stand to gain many advantages by successfully completing the process. Perhaps most importantly, a sealed conviction will no longer appear on most public and private background checks. This means that a future employer will most likely not be able to see your past record once it has been sealed. Finally, even if a current or potential employer does somehow find out about your history, he or she is not permitted to use that information to make an adverse employment decision against you.

Experienced Nassau County Attorney

Attorney Gregory J. Watford has been practicing criminal law for more than 25 years. Prior to passing the bar, he also worked for over a decade in law enforcement. His background as a former criminal investigator and a former assistant district attorney affords him unique insight into the New York criminal justice system. With his experience and working knowledge of the law, he is equipped to help you get your criminal record sealed. Mr. Watford and his team will assist you in determining your eligibility, preparing your petition, and presenting your case at any required hearings. At The Law Firm of Gregory J. Watford, Esq., PLLC, our goal is to clear the blemishes from your record so that you can move forward into a better future.

Call 646-580-6675 Today

For more information about the sealing of criminal convictions in New York State, contact our office. Call 646-580-6675 to schedule a confidential consultation and case evaluation. Our firm serves clients in Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, Mineola, New City, Mt. Vernon, White Plains, New York County, Kings County, Bronx County, Queens County, Nassau County, Rockland County, Westchester County, and the surrounding communities.

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