When a person is convicted of committing a crime, the penalties which tend to cause the most worry are often the formal penalties, such as prison, probation, parole supervision, fines, and community service. However, these court-imposed consequences are not the only repercussions of having a conviction in your past. You will also be burdened with a criminal record, which can continue to have a negative impact on your life long after you have served any jail time and paid for your wrongdoing.
Being convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor can show up on your permanent criminal record forever. This carries a stigma that can impact your ability to attend a university, or to gain certain professional certifications. Additionally, because the overwhelming majority of large employers conduct background checks on prospective hires, a criminal past can hinder your ability to maintain steady employment.
An expungement means that the record has been fully deleted or removed from the criminal justice system: in other words, destroyed. Expungements are not generally available for convictions, though they may be available for infractions or minor traffic violations.
However, even if an expungement is unattainable, you may be able to seal the information instead. A sealed record is not deleted entirely but is made inaccessible to the public. That means that while your record will still exist, it will only be accessible in very limited circumstances. Most beneficially, sealed records are not accessible to the far majority of employers. It is illegal for an employer to ask about or refer to sealed information.
Finally, a record with a Youthful Offender or Juvenile Delinquent status is held confidentially. While the police and courts will hold onto the adjudication, it is inaccessible and will not be disclosed in most circumstances, similar to information which has been sealed.
In New York, the process for removing violations, cases without a conviction, Juvenile Delinquencies, marijuana offenses, and limited misdemeanors and felonies is technically sealing, because the court documents themselves are not destroyed.
However, there is an element of expungement in the process as well, because the arrest record and processing information are destroyed at the police level.
For most people who are applying for a job outside of law enforcement or public safety, sealing will prevent your potential employer from ever seeing your arrest record. However, if you are applying for a gun or a job that requires you to carry a gun, your information will be visible to the agency or employer. Likewise, if you are seeking to enlist in the military, the branch of the military you are enlisting in will also be able to view the sealed record. Outside of these few exceptions, sealing will be sufficient for most employment purposes.
In Family Court, there are a variety of available dispositions for juvenile delinquents ranging from dismissal of the charges to placement of the offender in a secure facility run by the Division for Youth.
In Criminal or Supreme Court, a child (thirteen years of age) who is charged with Murder in the Second Degree or a sexually motivated felony can be charged as a juvenile offender. Similarly, a child who is fourteen and fifteen years old, who is charged with any crime from a certain list
of violent felony offenses can also be charged as a juvenile offender.
Generally, children charged as Juvenile Offenders face mandatory upstate (more than one year) jail time
Let’s get your future back on track and see what we need to do to get things started. Remember that Mr. Victor Knapp has been in private practice as a criminal defense lawyer since 1981, and has offices directly across the street from the Criminal Courthouse in Kew Gardens, New York. He has successfully represented thousands of persons, including high profile targets, accused or suspected of committing drug offenses throughout his legal career during the investigatory, arraignment, conference, Grand Jury, Pre-trial suppression, trial and post-conviction stages. He practices throughout the New York areas and he is available 24/7 for emergencies as well as for all state cases on Long Island, Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan and Westchester / upstate New York and for federal cases nationwide.
You need an experienced lawyer to handle the complexities of getting your Record Sealed. Attorney Victor Knapp is here to serve you. With offices conveniently located in Kew Gardens, the practice is uniquely situated to serve clients in Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island, and the five-borough area. To arrange for a private case evaluation, call (718) 263-9000 at any time or day or night. You can also contact us online.