In the state of New York, it is not possible to expunge your rap sheet. However, your Staten Island lawyer can help you to seal your record and prevent it from being seen by most parties. It is a lengthy process and you will need the help of a Staten Island lawyer to make sure that it gets done properly. For some people, that lingering felony on their record can mean the difference between being unemployed or having a good job. That is some New Yorkers do choose to have their records sealed.
Who Can See A Sealed Record?
Once you get a record officially sealed, most entities and people will not be able to see that record. The only people who will be able to see your sealed record are:
- Any place where you submit a gun license application
- Your employer, but only if you are applying to be a police officer
- The military
- Your parole officer if you are arrested while still on parole
- Prosecutors of any criminal case you get involved in
You Might Not Need To Seal That Record
In 1991, the state of New York made some significant changes to the way criminal charges are handled. Ever since 1991, non-violent offenses such as loitering or littering are automatically sealed after one year. More serious felonies such as DWI and certain drug possession charges are automatically sealed after three years. So if you are thinking about sealing that DWI charge you got two years ago, you might want to save your money and wait.
Having Felonies Sealed
Other felonies can automatically be sealed if you have followed the court’s instructions and done what was expected of you. If you completed a court-appointed program and have served your sentence, then your conviction will be sealed provided you do not have any other pending convictions.
Getting Your Record Sealed
Some people do not want to wait for their record to be sealed, which means they will have to go through the process. Your first step is to hire a good Staten Island lawyer who can make sure that you are following all of the steps and you are doing everything you need to do.
Your next step is to order your rap sheet from the website of the Division of Criminal Justice and wait for it to arrive. Once you get your rap sheet, you need to review it with your lawyer and decide which charges you want sealed. Your lawyer will file the proper motions with the court where the conviction was made, and the process begins.
As long as you submit the information the court is looking for, your record should be sealed without much problem. But sometimes the court wants more information, or it wants you to personally appear. Be aware that these are some of the obstacles you could run into.
Once your record is sealed, it becomes your little secret. The best way to avoid a rap sheet is to avoid breaking the law. But if you find yourself at the wrong place at the wrong time, there is a way to make sure no one else ever finds out.