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How Do I Get My Criminal Record Sealed in New York City?

How Do I Get My Criminal Record Sealed in New York City?

Having a criminal record can make life difficult. It can prevent you from getting jobs, housing, loans, and more. Fortunately, New York State allows people with certain eligible criminal convictions to have their records sealed. This means your criminal record is still available to law enforcement, but not to most private entities like employers and landlords.

What is Record Sealing?

Record sealing, also called record expungement, means your criminal record is essentially hidden from public view. Most private entities will not be able to see your sealed convictions. However, law enforcement and court systems will still have access for limited purposes. Getting your record sealed gives you a clean slate when it comes to housing, employment, education, and more.

Record sealing is not the same as having your conviction overturned. It simply limits public access to your criminal record while allowing law enforcement limited access.

Eligibility for Sealing Convictions in New York

You may be eligible to have your New York State conviction record sealed if:

  • You have no more than 2 convictions on your entire record
  • Your convictions were for eligible offenses (most misdemeanors and some felonies)
  • You have completed all court-ordered parts of your sentence at least 10 years ago

There are certain convictions that can never be sealed, such as violent felonies, sex offenses, and serious driving offenses like DUI. Check the eligibility requirements closely.

Waiting Periods to Seal New York Convictions

You must wait a certain number of years after completion of your sentence before sealing a New York conviction:

  • 10 years for most misdemeanors and eligible felonies
  • 5 years for most petty offenses and violations

The waiting period does not start until you have completed all parts of your sentence, including probation, parole, restitution payments, treatment programs, community service, etc.

How to Apply to Seal Your Criminal Record in New York City

  1. Make sure you meet the eligibility criteria explained above
  2. Obtain certificates of disposition for each conviction from the court clerk
  3. Complete this form to apply to seal your convictions
  4. File the form and certificates of disposition with the court that handled your convictions
  5. Serve copies to the District Attorney’s office and any other required agencies
  6. Attend your court hearing (usually 4-6 weeks after filing)

This process can be confusing, with lots of specific rules. Working with an experienced New York sealing attorney can help avoid mistakes.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Benefits of Sealing Your Criminal Record

Getting your record sealed can provide many valuable benefits:

  • Allow you to legally say you have no criminal record on most job & housing applications
  • Prevent convictions from showing up on most background checks done by employers
  • Improve your chances of getting hired and renting an apartment
  • Increase eligibility for student loans and higher education
  • Restore some civil rights lost with a felony conviction

Having your record sealed gives you a clean slate to more easily rebuild your life after a conviction.

Finding Help Sealing Your Record in NYC

Trying to handle the sealing process alone can be extremely difficult. This complex legal process is full of rules and deadlines. Working with an experienced sealing attorney provides valuable help navigating the process to avoid mistakes.

If you need assistance clearing your criminal record in New York City, check out these legal resources:

Getting legal advice can help make sure your sealing application is filled out properly. This gives you the best chance of having your record sealed so you can fully put your past convictions behind you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a sealed conviction still be used against me?

A sealed NY conviction remains on your record and visible to law enforcement. So it can still be used against you for setting bail, sentencing if convicted of another crime, qualifying as a repeat offender, etc. But most private entities will not have access.

What if I have convictions in multiple states?

You would need to have your record sealed separately under each state’s laws. An attorney experienced with multi-state sealing could help coordinate this process for you.

Can I seal a New York conviction from another state?

No, only New York State courts have jurisdiction to seal NY convictions. You would need to travel to New York to apply to seal convictions from courts there.


For more help sealing criminal records in NYC, check out these additional resources:

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