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Seeking Expungement in New York City?

Taking Steps to Seal Your Criminal Record

Do you have a criminal record that is negatively impacting your personal or professional life? With an expungement, individuals who have been charged with criminal offenses can seal their records. This also limits access to your prior arrest information to government entities, such as law enforcement and courtrooms, only.

While some states offer the process up to convicts of non-violent crimes, the only people eligible for expungement in New York state include those who have had charges dropped, dismissed, thrown out or in situations where the criminal process was not completed for whatever reason.

It is also important to note that violations for traffic infractions or crimes like disorderly conduct are eligible for expungement. Also, since 1990, those who have been convicted of certain felony drug crimes may be eligible to have their criminal records sealed by fulfilling certain requirements, such as the successful completion of a drug treatment program.

If you are seeking an expungement, contact us today to start discussing your options!

The Benefits of Expungement in Queens & NYC

With a criminal record, every time a potential employer, landlord, or bank loan official performs a background check, he or she will see your criminal offense. While some offenses can be easily explained away, people, especially individuals running a business, will be more inclined to trust someone without a criminal record over someone who has a criminal record.

Through expungement, an individual can seek to have his or her record wiped clean. Once an offense has been expunged from your record, it will no longer show up on a background check.

Who is Disqualified from Expungement?

Expungement is permissible throughout the United States, although the qualifications differ slightly depending on the state. In New York, the expungement provisions can be found in § 160 of the New York Criminal Procedures.

According to 160.50 NYCP- Order upon termination of criminal action in favor of the accused:

1. Upon the termination of a criminal action or proceeding against a person in favor of such person...the record of such action or proceeding shall be sealed...and unless the court has directed otherwise, that the record of such action or proceeding shall be sealed.

If an individual is convicted of a misdemeanor or felony drug offense, he or she may be eligible for record sealing through the completion of a diversion program. Ineligible individuals include those who are unable to complete probation, have current cases pending, or have been convicted of serious felony charges. For more information regarding whether or not you are eligible, please contact someone from our firm directly.

How Long Does a Criminal Offense Stay on My Record?

Criminal records can stay with you and affect various aspects of your life for years and years. Whether you are applying for a loan, seeking employment, or wanting to buy a home, having a criminal record can have a negative impact on your endeavors. This is why it is so important to have a qualified Queens criminal attorney from the start of your case to help prevent a conviction. The good news is that even if you have already been convicted of an offense, you may be eligible for an expungement or sealing of your record.

For juvenile offenders who are under 18 years of age when they are convicted, their criminal record will automatically be sealed. What this means it that only law enforcement will be able to access their criminal history and it will not show up on background checks or to the general public.

Pursuing Expungement or Sealing Your Record as an Adult

If you seal your record, only law enforcement agencies will be able to access your record, just like with juvenile offenders. To have your record expunged would mean that your entire record would be removed from all systems and would not even be accessible to law enforcement.

The Expungement Process

In order to have your record completely cleared, you have to petition with the courts and request the expunction. You will need to have your case number, arrest date, name of law enforcement agency that arrested you, the charges filed against you, the outcome of your charges and the completion date.

Due to the fact that this process can be complicated and that it differs from state to state, it is best to retain a lawyer who knows how to navigate you through the various steps so that no mistakes are made. If your expungement is denied, you may be able to request an appeal, but you will likely have to wait a number of years before you can request the appeal.

Call a Queens Criminal Attorney at the Firm!

The experienced Queens defense lawyers at Musa-Obregon Law PC know this process inside and out and can make sure you have followed the steps completely to give you the best chance for sealing your records and moving forward with your life. Even if you have made up for your mistakes of the past, a prior criminal record can have a prolonged negative effect on the quality of your life.

Many career paths, loans or other opportunities will not be available to a person with a criminal history, even if you have put those things behind you. Their firm can appreciate the significance of a second chance and believe expungement can be an integral piece for rebuilding life after a troublesome past.

They can identify whether your case is eligible, how many of your prior charges can be sealed and how to successfully navigate the legal process to get the most out of your request. While expungement can be a complicated process with the court, having a seasoned professional at your disposal can be the difference between a successful filing and a failed one. We represent clients facing charges throughout all of New York, including Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Rockland County and Westchester County.

Looking to expunge your record? Contact our Queens & NYC criminal defense firm as soon as possible.

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