What Are The Requirements To Seal A Felony Conviction?
A felony conviction can have far-reaching consequences. Even after you have served your time, your conviction will continue to follow you. Having a criminal record may prevent you from securing employment, applying for certain loans, and entering the military. Today, it is estimated that nearly a third of the adult working-age population has a criminal record, according to the Department of Justice. Fortunately, some New Yorkers now have the ability to apply to have their misdemeanor or felony conviction sealed, effectively hiding evidence of the conviction from most private employers and many others. Our New York City criminal defense lawyers explore the requirements and benefits of sealing your criminal conviction below.
New York recently passed a law that allows some people with convictions at least 10 years old to have their record sealed. CPL 160.59 only applies to those with older convictions. Applicants must not have more than one felony and one misdemeanor conviction, or two misdemeanor convictions. You cannot have any charges pending against you and must be crime-free for at least ten years.
Your criminal conviction that meets these requirements will not be automatically sealed. You will need to request a Certificate of Disposition for CPL 160.59 Sealing application from the criminal court. You will then need to complete the Sealing Application. This application will require that you sign it before a notary public. Additionally, you will want to attach evidence to support your new crime-free lifestyle with the application. This could include evidence of a career, community service, completion of an alcohol or drug program, and other evidence of your rehabilitation.
Benefits of Sealing Your Record
A sealed record differs in some ways from an expunged one. A sealed record does not mean an erased record. Your sealed record will only be visible to certain, limited parties. The following people or agencies can still view your record:
- You, if you request it;
- Your employer, if you apply for a job in law enforcement or for any position that requires you to carry a gun;
- Prosecutors or law enforcement officials;
- The military;
- Any agency you apply to for a gun license.
Note that not all convictions can be sealed. Violent felonies, sex offenses, and some serious felonies are not eligible. Contact a criminal defense attorney for assistance with sealing your criminal record today.