What if I told you that it was possible to petition the courts to completely erase your criminal past and history? Such a feat might seem impossible, but there is a legal avenue in which you can legally clear away a past crime.
This process is called expungement, and former convicted criminals have been utilizing it for decades.
In New York, lawmakers believe that criminal records are preventing about 2.23 million people from finding jobs and housing. In response, they’ve proposed the Clean Slate Act. Learn more about this new legislation below.
The Clean Slate Act
The Clean Slate Act, which was introduced but not passed last summer, seeks to help New York citizens who have been convicted of crimes. Under this law, New York citizens who have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime would be eligible to have their criminal records automatically sealed after three years. New Yorkers who’ve been convicted of a felony would be eligible after seven years.
Of course, there are some exceptions. The Clean Slate Act would not apply to individuals who’ve been convicted of sex offenses or for individuals who are on parole or probation.
On top of all that, courts (and other entities) would still be able to see your past conviction in certain situations. Most entities (like a potential employer) would not see these records with a routine background check, though.
The aim of this legislation, according to advocates, is to help 2.23 million New Yorkers who are struggling with criminal records. By sealing those records, advocates say those individuals would have an easier path toward getting stable employment and housing.
Explaining the Current Expungement Process
While the Clean Slate Act has not passed yet, you may be surprised to learn that such a procedure already exists. The only difference is that the current sealing process isn’t automatic. If you want to clear away your past record right now, there is a process available to you. The current expungement process in New York allows you to seal your record after about 10 years of good behavior. You can’t have any recent convictions, and you can only have two convictions or fewer on your record. Your crime must also not be a “violent” crime, sex crime, or class A felony.
If you want to learn more about if you’re eligible to expunge your record, then get in touch with a lawyer.
Are You Interested in Expunging Your Criminal Record?
Were you unaware of your right to expunge your record after a certain period of time? So long as you’ve become a law-abiding citizen after the ordeal and your crime was minor, there’s a great chance you can get it erased forever! It might be in your best interests to speak with a lawyer before you go ahead with the process, though, as a good attorney could be the difference between an approval and denial.
Are you in the New York area? If so, then our office can help you learn more about your eligibility and expungement options. Contact us today to get started.