OBTAINING A CERTIFICATE OF GOOD CONDUCT IN NEW YORK
Show the World You've Changed and Restore Your Rights
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 convictions for jumping a subway turnstile can get a green card holder deported.
A New York conviction can restrict so many different rights that the Columbia Law School created a calculator to help you determine which rights your conviction may have affected. A felony conviction removes your right to own a firearm under federal law. Even after serving your sentence, a conviction can restrict your civil rights forever.
The list of rights 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 which would otherwise be available. Thankfully, New York law provides a process to restore many of those rights.
A Certificate of Good Conduct may restore many of the rights taken away by conviction, including your right to own a firearm. However, if you qualify, a Certificate for Relief from Disabilities is typically a better option. If you only have one felony conviction, please ensure that you do not qualify for a Certificate for Relief from Disabilities before considering a Certificate of Good Conduct.
Our law firm has helped thousands of clients restore their rights after a conviction, 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.
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.
Eric David is a native Hoosier and with a broad range of professional experience in the US and China. He is a trained social worker and a licensed attorney in Indiana and New York.
Since finishing his undergraduate studies at Purdue University, he has worked for non-profits, government agencies, private firms, and international institutions.
In all his work, he is passionate about helping his clients solve problems and be the best they can be. Mr. David resides in Indianapolis with his partner and their two greyhounds.
Can You Apply for a Certificate of Good Conduct?
Getting arrested or charged with a crime in Arizona will almost always produce a criminal record. If convicted of that crime, you can often have it set aside after you’ve received a final discharge from your sentence. However, if your charges were dismissed or you were found guilty, you can rarely do anything to get rid of your arrest record despite the fact that you weren’t even found guilty
- How Long Do You Need to Wait for a Certificate of Good Conduct?expand_more
If you have been convicted of a Class A or Class B Felony, you must wait five (5) years since completing your sentence and must have displayed good behavior in your conduct during that period.
If you have been convicted of a Class C, Class D, or Class D Felony, you must wait three (3) years since completing your sentence and must have displayed good behavior in your conduct during that period.
- Is a Certificate of Good Conduct Your Best Solutionexpand_more
It depends on what’s important to you. If you want to pass background checks for employment or housing, Record Sealing is likely you best option. However, qualifying to seal a conviction is much more difficult, so if you cannot seal your record, a Certificate for Relief from Disabilities or Certificate of Good Conduct are typically the best available solution. If you want to learn more about sealing convictions, please visit our New York Record Sealing page.
If you care more about restoring your gun rights, a Certificate for Relief from Disabilities or Certificate of Good Conduct will often be your best option, as record sealing has no effect on restoring your Second Amendment rights. For more information on restoring your Second Amendment rights, go to our New York Firearm Rights Restoration page.
Legal Effect Of Getting a Certificate of Good Conduct
Although a Certificate of Good Conduct will not remove a conviction from your record, it is often the best available remedy when you have more than one felony or are only concerned with restoring your firearm rights. When it comes to Certificates of Good Conduct, the two most common questions our firm is asked are related to how they help with employment, and if they restore firearm rights.
- How will a Certificte of Good Conduct Help Me Get a Job?expand_more
A Certificate of Good Conduct is a legal finding that you have been rehabilitated since being convicted. It will not help you pass a background check, but it should improve your employment prospects, as it is an official document demonstrating rehabilitation. Most importantly, a Certificate of Good Conduct can remove bars to applying for certain jobs, getting certain required professional licenses, and can also make you eligible for government programs that a conviction restricted you from.
- Will a Certificate of Good Conduct Restore My Second Amendment Rights?expand_more
Sometimes. A Certificate of Good Conduct may be granted and restore your firearm rights, but the judge can also grant it without restoring your firearm rights. In most cases, the decision to restore your firearm rights is up to the judge’s discretion. However, if you’ve been convicted of a Class A Felony or “Violent Offense” defined in PL § 70.020 and listed below, the judge cannot restore your firearm rights.
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 after being convicted and are typically more likely to restore your 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.Violent Offenses Barring Firearm Rights Restoration
New York law does not allow a Certificate of Good Conduct to restore your firearm rights if you have been convicted of any Class A Felony, or any of the “Violent Felonies” listed below. Convictions for these offenses do not prevent a court from issuing you a Certificate of Good Conduct, but it will not restore your firearm rights.Ineligible Violent Offenses (Class B Felonies)
2nd Degree Attempted Murder (PL § 110/125.25)
1st Degree Attempted Kidnapping (PL § 110/135.25)
1st Degree Attempted Arson (PL § 110/150.20)
1st Degree Manslaughter (PL § 125.20)
1st Degree Aggravated Manslaughter (PL § 125.22)
1st Degree Rape (PL § 130.35)
1st Degree Criminal Sexual Act (PL § 130.50)
1st Degree Aggravated Sexual Abuse (PL § 130.70)
1st Degree Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child (PL § 130.75)
1st Degree Assault (PL § 120.10)
1st Degree Kidnapping (PL § 135.20)
1st Degree Burglary (PL § 140.30)
2nd Degree Arson (PL § 150.15)
1st Degree Robbery (PL § 160.15)
An attempt to commit any of the Violent Class B Felony Offenses listed in PL § 70.02 (see above)
Aggravated Criminally Negligent Homicide (PL § 125.11)
2nd Degree Aggravated Manslaughter (PL § 125.21)
2nd Degree Aggravated Sexual Abuse (PL § 130.67)
Assault on a Peace Officer, Police Officer, Fireman or Emergency Medical Services Professional (PL § 120.08)
Assault on a Judge (PL § 120.09)
2nd Degree Gang Assault (PL § 120.06)
1st Degree Strangulation (PL § 121.13)
2nd Degree Burglary (PL § 140.25)
2nd Degree Robbery (PL § 160.10)
2nd Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon (PL § 265.03)
2nd Degree Criminal Use of a Firearm (PL § 265.08)
2nd Degree Criminal Sale of a Firearm (PL § 265.12)
Criminal Sale of a Firearm with the Aid of a Minor (PL § 265.14)
Aggravated Criminal Possession of a Weapon (PL § 265.19)
1st Degree Soliciting or Providing Support for an Act of Terrorism (PL § 490.15)
2nd Degree Hindering Prosecution of Terrorism (PL § 490.30)
3rd Degree Criminal Possession of a Chemical Weapon or Biological Weapon (PL § 490.37)
Conspiracy to commit any of the above offenses
An attempt to commit any of the Violent Class C Felony Offenses listed in PL § 70.02 (see above)
Reckless Assault of a Child (PL § 120.02)
2nd Degree Assault (PL § 120.05)
Menacing a Police Officer or Peace Officer (PL § 120.18)
1st Degree Stalking (PL § 120.60)
2nd Degree Strangulation (PL § 121.12)
2nd Degree Rape (PL § 130.30)
2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Act (PL § 130.45)
1st Degree Sexual Abuse (PL § 130.65)
2nd Degree Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child (PL § 130.80)
3rd Degree Aggravated Sexual Abuse (PL § 130.66)
Facilitating a Sex Offense with a Controlled Substance (PL § 130.90)
Labor Trafficking (PL § 135.35 (3)(a) & (b))
3rd Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon (only (5), (6), (7), (8), (9) or (10) of PL § 265.02)
3rd Degree Criminal Sale of a Firearm (PL § 265.11)
2nd Degree Intimidating a Victim or Witness (PL § 215.16)
2nd Degree Soliciting or Providing Support for an Act of Terrorism (PL § 490.10)
Making a Terroristic Threat (PL § 490.20)
1st Degree Falsely Reporting an Incident (PL § 240.60)
1st Degree Placing a False Bomb or Hazardous Substance (PL § 240.62)
Placing a False Bomb or Hazardous Substance in a Sports Stadium or Arena, Mass Transportation Facility or Enclosed Shopping Mall (PL § 240.63)
1st Degree Aggravated Unpermitted Use of Indoor Pyrotechnics (PL § 405.18)
Conspiracy to commit any of the above offenses
Attempted 3rd Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon (but only (5), (6), (7), (8) of PL § 265.02)
Persistent Sexual Abuse (PL § 130.53)
4th Degree Aggravated Sexual Abuse (PL § 130.65)
Falsely Reporting an Incident (PL § 240.55)
2nd Degree Placing a False Bomb or Hazardous Substance (PL § 40.61)
Conspiracy to commit any of the above offenses
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 Obtaining a Certificate of Good Conduct in New York Include:
Removing a finding of guilt and closing the case on your criminal record to help you get a better job
Restoring your Second Amendment Rights to own a firearm
Becoming eligible for professional licenses you previously did not qualify for
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
We Are Here to Help
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 what 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!