CERTIFICATE OF GOOD CONDUCT
You also may be eligible to apply for a Certificate of Good Conduct, which is different from a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities (COR) in criteria and benefit. You are eligible to receive a Certificate of Good Conduct even if you have been convicted of one or more felonies in your past. This is different from a COR where you are eligible as long as you have been convicted of no more than one felony.
Unlike a COR, as laid out below, you are not eligible for a Certificate of Good Conduct until a period of time has elapsed from your release from custody or from the date your sentence had ended. With a Certificate of Good Conduct, there is a waiting period to demonstrate that you have completed a certain period of good conduct in the community. Namely, you must wait, 5 years if the most serious felony on your criminal record is an A or B felony. And, 3 years, if the most serious felony on your record is a C, D, or E felony.
This waiting period is different from a COR where there is no waiting period. In fact, a person is eligible for a COR at the time of sentencing, when the sentence is not a jail sentence. If a jail sentence is imposed, a person is eligible for a COR upon their release from a correctional facility or with the recommendation of a supervising probation or parole officer during a term of community supervision.
The one major difference between a COR and a Certificate of Good Conduct is that with a Certificate of Good Conduct, one may be eligible for public office, which may include a police officer or firefighter, as it does in New York.
OUT OF STATE or FEDERAL CONVICTIONS
Some of you may have out of state or federal convictions but are residents of New York State. Many of you are too are eligible for both a COR and a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities. The state in which you currently reside needs to be in cooperation. The list of states changes year to year but we would be able to assist in letting you know if your state is eligible. Then the process for applying for a COR is relatively the same. If you are seeking a Certificate of Good Conduct, the waiting period during which you must demonstrate “good conduct” is determined by the level of the corresponding New York State crime.