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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27494
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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If a previously dismissed misdemeanor criminal case is ordered

Customer Question

If a previously dismissed misdemeanor criminal case is ordered unsealed by a court of a victim because evidence found within such a case help point to the true guilty party, what negative consequences may a victim suffer as a result of such unsealing? Even if case was dismissed in favor of the now victim, and the victim understands the necessity of such unsealing in the interest of justice, how might he or she wisely request safeguards / restrictions preventing defense from publicizing sealed details which despite having been dismissed, the details of which may still prove embarrassing for the victim? Can protective court orders accompany unsealing orders so that case files ordered unsealed must remain available only to relevant parties with an agreement not to disclose to media? How can one advise now victim of the possible worst case scenario of what defense can do down the road upon acquiring such files if the come with no restriction?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
Hello, My name is ***** ***** I will assist you with this question. I am a New York State criminal lawyer. I'm not sure that I understand your concern here. In the first place, sealed cases are not unsealed lightly, and as everything in the record would already be known to the DA anyhow, I doubt that it would be granted. Certainly if such a petition were filed to unseal the case, your lawyer could object to it and limit the scope of what and to whom the case could be made available for. Thirdly, if unsealing it in the interest of justice leads to the prosecution and conviction of the real perpetrator of the crime, I am not sure I see the down side here.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If the witness has been told that this motion will be granted, yes I understand your confusion as there would appear to be no downside as it would help real perpetrator of crime being brought to justice. However, would it not reveal the victim in the current case if the current case is a sex crime case and the victims names are ***** ***** the case the court is agreeing to grant the unsealing of was NOt a sex crime case, this appears to be a seedy strategy by defense to leak victim's name by making the previously dismissed case public.
How would the victim / witness go about appealing to ADA that a protective order accompany such unsealing so that the facts are made available only to defense counsel and they are not permitted to disclose otherwise?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
Is this a hypothetical. the possibility of which you are worried about, or is this an actual case. If so, who is moving for the opening of this record?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Why would this attorney ask me to identify on a public forum if I am referencing a real, or hypothetical case? I am asking a legal question, and that kind of question feels invasive and silly. If this were a real case, why would I say yes this is a real case? I have given a scenario, asked question, and just wanted to know answer given construct of scenario. If this WERE a real pending case and I said yes and were providing actual case detail, it would go against the policy of your site. I am incredibly disturbed an attorney wouldn't know that.