Felony Conviction Sealing
Until recently, the right to seal a criminal record was only granted in narrow circumstances involving diversion courts and treatment programs. However, that all changed in 2017. New York legislatures enacted an expansive criminal conviction sealing law that grants felons the opportunity to have their record sealed under certain conditions.
When a record is sealed, it’s hidden from public view, though certain entities may still access the file. Not every felony record is eligible to be sealed. Your best option is to speak with a criminal defense lawyer to see if you qualify for record sealing.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Garden City
Sealing a felony record will allow you to deny the arrest or conviction ever happened, which may open the door to opportunities that were once not available. To cut back on cost, you may be tempted to petition for felony sealing without legal assistance. However, one mistake or forgotten piece of supporting evidence and your petition will be denied.
Call (516) 972-1212 to schedule a time to speak with Law Office of Stephanie Selloni. Stephanie Selloni is a trusted legal advocate who represents clients in Nassau County, Suffolk County and Westchester County.
- Record Sealing in New York
- Felony Crimes Not Eligible for Sealing in New York
- Is My Felony Record Eligible to be Sealed?
- Additional Resources
Record Sealing in New York
New York has no laws in place to erase or expunge a criminal record. Instead, it uses a process called sealing. Sealing means your record will still exist, but all related evidence such as booking photos, DNA samples and fingerprint cards will be hidden from the public.
That being said, certain entities will still be able to access your sealed record. A sealed criminal record can still be seen by:
- An employer if you apply for a job requiring you to carry a gun
- Any person you designate to view the record
- A parole officer if you are arrested while on probation or parole
- The police or prosecutors, but only by a court order signed by a judge
You can legally deny the arrest or conviction ever happened once your record is sealed. However, you will have to disclose the felony conviction when you are applying for a firearm license, when purchasing a firearm and when applying to be a police officer. Your felony record will become a matter of federal law when you apply to join the military or for immigration purposes. In either case, you will likely need to disclose the conviction.
Felony Crimes Not Eligible for Sealing in New York
The first step in sealing a felony record is determining whether your conviction is eligible. Listed below are felony crimes that are not eligible for sealing in New York:
- Most sex crimes, including those that require registration as a sex offender
- Class A felony crimes
- Violent felony crimes
- Conspiring to commit any ineligible felony offense
- Attempting to commit any ineligible felony offense
A wide range of felony offenses are still eligible for sealing. Conviction for crimes like drug possession, public intoxication, theft and vandalism are all eligible crimes. Consult with a criminal defense attorney who can help you determine if your felony offense is eligible for sealing.
Is My Felony Record Eligible to be Sealed?
You will have to meet additional criteria for your record to be eligible for sealing. For one, 10 years must have passed since your sentencing or release from prison, whichever is greater. It’s worth noting the 10-year waiting period does not include any time you spent in prison. This condition applies even if the time you served was not for the crime you are looking to seal.
Additional conditions that need to be met include:
- You have no pending or current criminal charges
- You have no recent criminal convictions
- You have not already sealed the number of convictions allowed
- You have no more than one felony and one misdemeanor conviction
A judge will also weigh certain factors to determine whether your felony record should be sealed. Some of these factors include:
- The severity of the crime and surrounding circumstances
- Measures taken to reintegrate into society such as working, attending school or participating in community service
- Whether sealing the felony will help you reintegrate into society
- The potential impact sealing the felony could have on public safety and the public’s confidence in law enforcement
- Any statements made by the victims of the offense you are seeking relief
- Time that has passed since your last conviction
Sealing of Certain Convictions | New York Criminal Procedure – Read the section of the criminal procedures governing felony record sealing. By following the link, you can find a comprehensive list of felony crimes not eligible for sealing and find out who will have access to your sealed record. The information is provided by the New York State Senate.
Sealing Criminal Records | New York City Bar – Read a breakdown of the Empire State’s record sealing laws provided by the NYC Bar. You can find additional information about sealing felony records and learn about sealing juvenile records.
Criminal Defense Lawyer in Nassau County
Going through the sealing process with an attorney greatly increases the chances of having your application accepted. Stephanie Selloni has been representing Long Island residents for over a decade. She will ensure your application has all the supporting evidence it needs to prove your record deserves to be sealed.
Take advantage of our free consultation. Call (516) 972-1212 to schedule a time to speak with Law Office of Stephanie Selloni. We are based in Garden City, but also assist clients in areas such as Yonkers and Melville.