In New York, under some circumstances, you may be able to have a criminal record expunged, which means the records are destroyed or returned to you. You may be able to have other records sealed so that they are not available to the public. Sealed records may be used in later criminal proceedings or in applications for certain licenses and employment.
You may be eligible for expungement of DNA records and samples if:
- You have been acquitted, or
- Your conviction has been reversed or vacated, or
- You have been pardoned.
If eligible, you may file a petition with the court, and the records and samples will be destroyed or returned to you if expungement is granted.
New York also permits the expungements of non-criminal dispositions (violations and traffic infractions, such as disorderly conduct,, through New York Criminal Procedure Law 160.55.
If a criminal case terminates in your favor, the record will be sealed unless the court finds that the interests of justice require that the record remain unsealed.
IT IS CRITICAL that you speak to an attorney who specializes in criminal law in NYC. The attorney will have to file an application for expungement to the court in which you were convicted. A hearing will be scheduled. The attorney will have to ask that the case be re-opened and the conviction set aside so that there may be an expungement. This is because the criminal matter has to be resolved in your favor to be eligible for an expungement. Further, granting an expungement is discretionary by the judge. The process may be tricky, and having an attorney assist you is well worth it.....especially for the job that you have applied for.
Once your records are sealed, all proceedings recounted in your record are treated as if they never occurred and you can answer with confidence to any inquiry, including, without limitation those relating to an application for employment, that you have not been arrested or convicted.
- Tell employers that you have not been convicted of a crime
- Become eligible for student loans
- Become eligible for housing assistance
- Become eligible for more types of professional licenses and certificates
- Tell friends and family that you have not been convicted of a crime
- To stop fearing or being embarrassed when someone does a background check on you.
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