Yes, you may in fact be an eligible candidate for the sealing of your old criminal conviction in New York State. It is of no consequence if you currently reside in New York City, Brooklyn, Albany, Buffalo, Rochester or Kingston. You may not, in fact, reside in the State of New York at all for that matter. Where you live is of no relevance when motioning the court of your sentencing to seal up to two criminal convictions pursuant to New York Criminal Procedure Law 160.59. Your New York sealing attorney or criminal lawyer can secure a signed affirmation from you anywhere. At bottom, assuming the offense or offenses on your criminal record are eligible crimes for the purpose of sealing, the next step that you and your attorney must pursue is properly drafting your sealing motion in accordance with all statutory requirements. Any easy task it is not, but one that if done accurately and thoroughly can be both compelling and successful.
- Sealing a Criminal Record in New York: CPL 160.59 General Information Page
- Sealing a Criminal Record in New York: Who is Eligible
- Sealing a Criminal Record in New York: Relevant and Necessary Factors
- Sealing a Criminal Record in New York: Practical Benefits and Effect
- New York Sealing and Expungement Information
Any application for sealing in accordance with New York Crim. Pro. Law 160.59 mandates that your attorney file his or her motion with the court that sentenced you upon your plea or post trial conviction ten plus years earlier. As part of the motion package, your sealing lawyer must include the following:
- a certificate of disposition, the formal document from the court clerk where you were convicted, reflecting the final disposition and outcome of your criminal case. If such a document is not available, an explanation why you or your counsel cannot secure the paperwork;
- a sworn statement reflecting whether you intend to file or in fact have filed a motion seeking sealing for any eligible offense in addition to the present application. If there is another pending motion, a copy of such motion;
- a sworn statement about the conviction(s) you now wish to seal;
- a sworn statement setting forth the basis and reason as to why your sentencing court should grant you the relief you seek, along with any other pertinent documentation.
Although the sworn statements come from you, your New York sealing and “expungement” lawyer will draft the motion and materials to best ensure clarity and provide the strongest advocacy in support of your application. Its critical to recognize you will not be given multiple attempts to convince a judge of your request.
In addition to filing your motion with the court, you must serve the District Attorney a copy of the application. Within 45 days from this service, the District Attorney must advise the court if he or she objects to the application for sealing.Opposition to Sealing: The Hearing
If the District Attorney objects to the sealing of your criminal conviction or convictions, the court shall commence a hearing where both sides, your sealing lawyer and the District Attorney, can present evidence supporting their respective positions. Even if the District Attorney does not oppose your application for sealing, just as the court has discretion to grant or deny the motion, the court can conduct a hearing if it believes it will serve a purpose in aiding the decision process.The Importance of Adhering to Proper Procedure
As repeatedly stated, the law does not provide for multiple attempts to apply for sealing. Whether failing to follow the correct process and submitting the required materials would be fatal to your sealing application is unclear, but you do not want to be the first to learn whether the court will grant you an opportunity to amend your application. What is evident, however, is that should you not provide a sworn statement or file your motion with the District Attorney, for example, at a minimum the court would deny your application and delay a decision by a judge. Not only could this be costly, but your application may be sent to the “back of the line” as other applications are filed and served. The risk reward analysis is obvious. Taking the time to prepare and complete your due diligence in compliance with New York Criminal Procedure Law 160.59 is critical to the success – or failure – of your sealing application.Finally Putting Your Past in the Past
Not technically expungement, the sealing of up to two misdemeanors or one misdemeanor and one felony conviction can have the same practical impact as expunging your criminal record. Yes, your conviction will remain indelible for access and review by law enforcement, but the implications to your career, employment and just about all other facets of your life are immeasurable. The benefit of not having to routinely answer to a decades old wrongdoing will lift a crushing weight from your shoulders and open up a future that you never knew existed.
Educate yourself. Liberate yourself. Provide for your family. Contact the New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors to advocate for your conviction sealing anywhere in the State of New York.
Call the New York State criminal conviction sealing lawyers and former New York City prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.