Each state has its own laws and definitions of expungement. The state of New York does not allow for expunging criminal records. Understanding the advantages and the ways to seal a record allows one to get a job or at least move the process further without having to worry about their background affecting an employer’s decision.
When people plan to expunge a criminal record in New York, they would have to settle for having it sealed.
Advantages of Criminal Record Sealing
Sealing a criminal record is not the same as having it erased, but some people can view it under particular circumstances, which include:
- Those who want to seal their record get a copy of their own rap sheet
- An agency one applies for to get a license for a gun
- An employer that requires one to carry a gun
- The employer of someone who applies for a job in law enforcement or works as a peace officer
- The military, if one wants to enlist
Cases One Can Seal
People can’t seal all their criminal cases, but they can seal certain cases, some of which include:
- One’s acts that would be criminal convictions if they did the act when they were over 16 years old
- Sealing of non-criminal offenses, some of which are low-level violations, such as trespassing or loitering
- One cannot seal serious offenses, such as loitering in a sexually deviant way or driving while impaired. These are offenses that one can seal a year after conviction or unless the conviction took place before 1991
Ways to Seal Criminal Records
People can have most of their criminal records automatically sealed after a certain amount of time lapses. However, it is better to err on the safe side by obtaining a copy of the rap sheet. After reviewing the latter, you can choose which offenses to seal. Fill out the forms and provide proof and other pertinent information about the cases to seal.
Sealing a record requires you to fulfill the specific requirements asked by a court, and you must convince several authorities to support the request. An experienced lawyer can help and guide you through the process.