HOW TO EXPUNGE A NEW YORK CRIMINAL RECORD & RESTORE FIREARM RIGHTS
Don’t Let Past Mistakes Hurt Your Future
When you’re convicted in New York, a criminal record is created with the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services. That record is then forwarded to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division, making the information relating to your arrest and conviction publicly available in a background check.
Having a conviction on your record makes life difficult, even long after you’ve paid your debt to society. Everyone knows they make getting jobs more difficult and may take away your Second Amendment right to own a gun, but convictions also limit more opportunities and remove more rights than you may know. For example, two Class B misdemeanor convictions will restrict you from living in a New York City Housing Authority apartment for at least three years.
The list of rights affected by convictions affected by convictions is too long to list here, but a conviction can limit you from getting the job you want, obtaining housing, getting professional licenses, legally owning a firearm, qualifying for government programs, and receiving student loans. A conviction on your criminal record may also prevent you from adoption, affect your immigration rights, and limit many other rights everyone else enjoys. Thankfully, New York law allows many people to seal both misdemeanor and felony convictions, restore firearm rights, and recover their rights that a criminal record has taken away.
Our law firm has helped thousands of clients deal with their criminal records, and we hear success stories from them often. If a conviction in New York is holding you back in life, keep reading to see what you can do about it.
Know Your Options
New York provides quite a few methods to remove or limit the availability of criminal records and restore your Second Amendment rights, so it’s important to review the specific circumstances surrounding the incidents on your record to determine the best method of relief.
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Sealing New York Convictions
Sealing a New York misdemeanor or felony conviction makes the sealed record inaccessible to the public, allowing you to pass background checks and legally state that the conviction never occurred. While sealing your record does not destroy your records, only certain criminal justice agencies will be able to access sealed records.
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New York Certificates of Good Conduct
If your record is ineligible to seal or obtain a Certificate for Relief from Disabilities, a Certificate of Good Conduct may still be available. Although a Certificate of Good Conduct does not remove your criminal offense from your criminal record, it is an official ruling by the court that you have been rehabilitated since your criminal past. Certificates of Good Conduct can restore your firearm rights in some circumstances, but they are less likely than Certificates for Relief from Disabilities to do so.
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Sealing Convictions from Drug Treatment Sentences
When you have completed a Drug Treatment Alternative-to-Prison (DTAP) program, you can seal many drug, and drug-related, convictions. Once you have successfully completed a DTAP program, it is likely that you qualify to seal those convictions and may be able to seal up to three additional drug-related misdemeanor convictions.
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New York Firearm Rights Restoration
In many circumstances, New York law allows you to restore your Second Amendment right to own a firearm. In most instances, the best method for restoration in New York is to obtain a Certificate for Relief from Disabilities, but they can be restored by obtaining a Certificate of Good Conduct as well. It should be noted that restoring firearm rights can be a complex process involving both state and federal law that should be handled by an experienced attorney.
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New York Certificates for Relief from Disabilities
When you do not qualify to seal your records, or when your primary interest is restoring your firearm rights, a Certificate for Relief from Disabilities is typically the best option for your criminal record. Although this type of certificate does not remove a conviction from your record, it is an official ruling by the court stating that you have been rehabilitated. In addition, a Certificate of Rehabilitation restores many rights that have been taken away by your conviction. In many cases, a Certificate of Rehabilitation will also restore your Second Amendment rights to own a firearm.
This Information is for You
Since the majority of people reading this aren’t lawyers, we’ve tried to simplify the legal jargon on our website, so regular people may follow along and get the information needed to understand their rights. However, before we get started, we should be clear that some of this information can get complicated, and, in many cases, it’s best to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer.
To help you understand your rights, our lawyers have developed a tool that can be helpful in figuring out your options. This tool can’t be perfectly accurate in every situation, but our lawyers have invested substantial time and resources working to make it as accurate as possible.
You can get started by using our Secure Eligibility Test, or you can give us a call at (844) 947-3732 to see if our legal staff is available for a free consultation. Be aware that our staff is often busy with current clients and a high volume of calls and appointments. If you’re serious about getting rid of your record, your best bet is to take our secure, confidential Eligibility Test and then schedule an appointment to discuss your results and options.
Legal Effect of New York Services
The two biggest issues our law firm’s clients encounter relate to obtaining employment and restoring firearm rights, so we’re going to discuss each in a little more detail.
How Will These Services Help Me Get A Better Job?arrow_drop_down
The exact answer to this question depends on which criminal record service you use, but each of the services discussed should be helpful in obtaining a job, in varying degrees.
Sealing a New York conviction is the best way to improve your chances of getting a job, as it will allow you to pass almost all background checks and legally state that you have not been convicted of the sealed offense. The main exception to this would be if you are applying to be a police officer. Certain Criminal Justice Agencies can view sealed records.
Certificates for Relief from Disabilities and Certificates of Good Conduct will not help you pass a background check, but they should improve your employment prospects, as they are official legal documents demonstrating your rehabilitation. Most importantly, these certificates can remove bars to applying for certain jobs, getting professional licenses required for certain jobs, and can also make you eligible for government programs.
How Can I restore My Firearm Rights in New York?arrow_drop_down
While sealing a New York conviction is the best way to improve your ability to pass a background check and get a job, they will have no effect on your ability to legally own a firearm.
In contrast, Certificates of Good Conduct and Certificates for Relief from Disabilities aren’t as helpful in obtaining a job, but they both can restore your firearm rights. It is important to note that a judge can grant either of these certificates and decide to not restore your firearm rights. Typically, a Certificate for Relief from Disabilities has a higher chance of restoring your firearm rights, because qualifying for that type of certificate often requires that you have a less serious criminal history. For Certificates of Good Conduct, you may not have your firearm rights restored if you’ve been convicted of either a Class A Felony or violent offense.
In our firm’s experience, it is more likely for a judge to restore firearm rights when the conviction was for a non-violent crime that happened a long time ago. Some counties are also more likely to restore firearm rights than others. Judges evaluate your behavior since being convicted and are more likely to restore firearm rights when you’ve led a lawful life since conviction and have a legitimate need for a firearm.
We will go into more detail regarding restoring Second Amendment rights in New York on our New York Firearm Rights Restoration Page, but restoration typically involves both state and federal law that should be handled by an experienced lawyer. The lawyers in our firm regularly handle complex firearm rights restoration issues, so a good first step in exploring whether you can restore your firearm rights would be to take our Secure Eligibility Test. Then, if appropriate, set up a time to speak with our legal staff about how to proceed.
What You Need to Do to Get Rid of Your Record
If you are tired of having a criminal record hold you back, reach out to us by taking our Secure Eligibility Test or by giving us a call at (844) 947-3732. Our law firm has helped thousands of people with criminal records move on in life, leaving many of the negative effects of a criminal record behind. Our experienced attorneys and legal staff are here to help you figure out what criminal record clearing services best fit your needs, and then help you accomplish your goals. Using our secure, confidential Eligibility Test is the best way to get the process started.
Some of the potential benefits of expunging your criminal record in New York include:
- Removing a finding of guilt from your criminal record to help you get a better job
- Becoming eligible for professional licenses you previously did not qualify for
- Restoring your Second Amendment Right to bear arms
- No longer being treated as a felon
- Increased eligibility for student loans, housing assistance, and government programs
- Improving your ability to obtain higher-paying job opportunities
- Improving access and admission to college and other educational resources
Each of New York’s methods for dealing with your criminal record have different requirements and are meant for different circumstances. To move forward, it’s important to determine which New York criminal record services are available to you, and then select the services that will provide the greatest benefit. Eastman Meyler, PC is here to help you navigate this very specific area of New York criminal law, fight to protect your rights, and assist you in moving forward in life without the effects of a New York criminal record.
You can trust that you will get exceptional service from our law firm, as we have an A Rating from the Better Business Bureau, and prestigious attorney rating services such as Thompson Reuters and Avvo list our attorneys as Super Lawyers and Superb Attorneys. Our law firm has attorneys licensed to practice law in all New York state courts, provides low price guarantees, and is here to fight for you and put your criminal record behind you!