Seal Your Criminal Past
Our New York criminal defense lawyers at Sullivan & Brill are well aware of the difficulties that exist when an individual has a criminal record. If you fall into this category, you may have experienced limited job opportunities or restricted federal and state education assistance. Perhaps you are living with limited family rights, such as your right to marry, adopt, or retain custody of your children.
Maybe you are unable to legally license a firearm, vote, or sit on a jury. What makes this even more painful is that you may have made this mistake many years ago and have been law-abiding ever since. What's worse, in today's age of "Google" and background checks, your past is far from hidden – so it is just a matter of time before your past record catches up with you. But, do not lose hope just yet. Recently, the New York State Bar Association approved a resolution supporting passage of legislation authorizing the sealing of criminal records of reformed offenders.
We at Sullivan & Brill receive hundreds of phone calls from individuals who are desperately seeking expungement of their criminal records in New York. However, New York, unlike several other states, has no law permitting the expungement of criminal records. While the pardon is an option, this governor's tool is rare and used quite sparingly. Given this backdrop, the NYSBA resolution is a welcome development and one that will help our clients in the future.
A reading of the NYSBA resolution makes certain things clear. First, this is a "sealing" proposal not expungement of a criminal record. In other words, criminal records will not be permanently destroyed (in the event that one is prosecuted for future crimes) but rather, rendered inaccessible and protected. Second, the only crimes that are applicable here are low-level, non-violent D felonies and non-violent E felonies. Lastly, this resolution will apply only to first-time offenders – it will not address habitual offenders or career criminals.
While New York is still some years away from offering you the opportunity to seal your past criminal record, feel free to stay on top of this issue by contacting us or continuing to check our website.
Until New York passes a "sealing past criminal records" law, you still have options. At Sullivan & Brill, we can assist you in applying for a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities (CRD) or a Certificate of Good Conduct (CGC) to restore many rights you have lost due to a criminal conviction. If you were convicted of no more than one felony, you can apply for a CRD. If you were convicted of any number of crimes, you can apply for a CGC. For individuals who have federal criminal records, we can apply to the New York State Board of Parole or the New York State Probation Department on your behalf.
Contact our firm today!
At Sullivan & Brill, we have been representing individuals with past criminal records for over 15 years. We have set out to make sure that someone's past does not destroy their future.
If you or someone you know has been convicted of a state or federal crime and is looking for some remedy, call our firm or complete our free evaluation form, and an experienced post-conviction attorney will discuss your case with you.