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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23557
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Customer Question

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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced NYS criminal lawyer.
Yes, your criminal record stays with you for the rest of your life unless the law of your state allows you to expunge it, which New York does not do. It does not seal felony convictions, no matter how old they get.
To reduce the discrimination caused by a criminal record, you could get yourself a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities. You get it through the Department of Parole, and it's a pretty useful document. It's free to obtain, you can apply for it without a lawyer, and though it doesn't erase your conviction, it would make it unlawful for employers and licensing agencies in New York State to discriminate against you because of your conviction.
You can find out how to get the certificate and what it does and doesn't do here:
https://www.nycourts.gov/courts/10jd/suffolk/dist/RCD.shtml
The Certificate will help you in NYS, but it won't get you into Canada. There is a special waiver that you can apply for if you've got a criminal record and want to visit Canada. You can post a question in our Canada law section and a Canadian lawyer can tell you if you're eligible and how to go about getting one.