You don't actually need a lawyer to apply for a pardon or certificate of relief for disabilities! The application for certificate of relief from disabilities can be accessed here
While there are no application fees to apply for a pardon/clemency in New York, unfortunately, the formal application materials are not available on the Internet. Thus, you should contact the Governor’s office directly or the State Board of Parole to acquire the materials and acquire more specific information about the process. You can contact the Governor’s office at:
Governor, State of New York
Albany, NY 12224.
You can contact the Board of Parole at:
Director, Executive Clemency Bureau
New York State Division of Parole
XXXXXbr/> Albany, NY 12206
There is no set time that must pass for a pardon to be granted - I just think the more time that has passed the better. What you want to demonstrate in requesting a pardon is how you have changed since the conviction. For example, have you gone back to school and gotten a degree? Started volunteering? Got a full time job whereas before you didn't have one? How have you rehabilitated yourself, in other words? That's not something that happens in 6 months or a year from conviction - or at least you wouldn't convince the Board of Pardons. Realistically, I think they want to hear from people who were convicted 5, 10, 20 years ago.
Second, you should state in an application how not having the pardon affects you - is it keeping you from jobs? Owning a firearm (yours was a misdemeanor crime, so that's not applicable), etc. What will a pardon do for you that a certificate of relief cannot do?
A job related conviction might be something like a theft or fraud charge for someone that wants to work in the banking industry. With something like reckless endangerment, I could see companies with jobs that involve a lot of driving (e.g., being a UPS driver) not wanting to hire you due to the risk involved.