SEALING DRUG CONVICTIONS IN NEW YORK
Don't Let Past Mistakes With Drugs Hurt Your Future
Having a criminal record makes life more difficult. A criminal record can prevent you from getting the job you want, renting livable housing, obtaining professional licenses, qualifying for government programs, and many other things in life that you’d otherwise be entitled to.
If you were sentenced to a Drug Treatment Alternative-to-Prison (DTAP) program, you may be able to seal your convictions. New York understands that many crimes are committed as a result of drug addiction and permits the sealing of both misdemeanor and felony convictions. Under New York’s drug sealing laws you may seal a variety of drug and other offenses that are commonly committed along with drug addiction.
Sealing your record makes it inaccessible to the general public and most employers. Certain law enforcement agencies can access sealed records, but the records will not appear in almost all background checks run by most employers, and you can legally state that you were never convicted of the sealed record.
There are some exceptions discussed below, but, in most cases, sealing your record will make it as if the sealed offense never occurred. One exception specific to sealing convictions under this law is that you may not be convicted of any offenses after the sealing. If you’re convicted of a crime after sealing your convictions, a court may unseal your record.
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 Get Your Drug Conviction Sealed?
Many drug and drug-related misdemeanor and felony convictions can be sealed in New York under CPL §§ 160.58. Sealing convictions under this law includes the following requirements:
- General Requirements to Seal Your Drug Convictionexpand_more
You must have been sentenced to and completed a Drug Treatment Alternative-to-Prison (DTAP) program offense described below
You may only seal specific Drug Offenses and specific Drug-Related Offenses listed in below.
You may only seal the offenses that were part of your DTAP sentence, and up to 3 additional misdemeanors specified below.
You may not have any pending charges or criminal proceedings.
Record sealing rules under CPL §§ 160.58 can be quite complex, and the process is typically lengthy and difficult to navigate without an experienced lawyer to navigate you the process. Our law firm is happy to help guide you through the process.
- 1. What is a Drug Treatment Alternative-to-Prison Program?expand_more
Drug Treatment Alternative-to-Prison programs began in the 1990s in King County. Since then, they have spread throughout most of the other boroughs of New York with the intent to provide drug treatment for many drug-addicted defendants with non-violent felony offenses. Qualified defendants enter a plea of guilty and receive a deferred sentence instead of prison time. Those who successfully complete the program have their charges dismissed, while those who fail are sentenced to prison.
- 2. Eligible Drug and Drug-Related Offensesexpand_more
New York law only permits to the sealing of certain drug and drug-related offenses after completing a DTAP program. These offenses include:
Burglary in the 3rd degree (PL § 140.20)
Criminal mischief in the 3rd degree (PL § 145.05)
Criminal mischief in the 2nd degree (PL § 145.10)
Grand larceny in the 4th degree (PL § 155.30)
Grand larceny in the 3rd degree (PL § 155.35) but not if the property consists of one or more firearms, rifles or shotguns
Unauthorized use of a vehicle in the 2nd degree (PL § 165.06)
Criminal possession of stolen property in the 4th degree (PL § 165.45)
Criminal possession of stolen property in the 3rd degree, but not if the property consists of one or more firearms, rifles or shotguns (PL § 165.50)
Forgery in the 2nd degree (PL § 170.10)
Criminal possession of a forged instrument in the 2nd degree (PL § 170.25)
Unlawfully using slugs in the 1st degree (PL § 170.60)
An attempt to commit any of the offenses listed above
Any class B, C, D or E controlled substance (drug) or marijuana felony offense
Other controlled substance (drug) or marijuana misdemeanor offenses
If you successfully complete your DTAP program, New York law (CPL §§ 160.58) allows you to fully seal the related criminal record and also up to three additional misdemeanor drug offenses listed below:
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree (PL 220.03)
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree (PL 220.06)
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree (PL 220.09)
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (PL 220.16)
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree (PL 220.18)
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree (PL 220.21)
Criminal possession of a controlled substance; presumption (PL 220.25)
Use of a child to commit a controlled substance offense (PL 220.28)
Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree (PL 220.31)
Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree (PL 220.34)
Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree (PL 220.39)
Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree (PL 220.41)
Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree (PL 220.43)
Criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds (PL 220.44)
Criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument (PL 220.45)
Criminal injection of a narcotic drug (PL 220.46)
Criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child (PL 220.48)
Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree (PL 220.50)
Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree (PL 220.55)
Criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances (PL 220.60)
Criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance or of a controlled substance by a practitioner or pharmacist (PL 220.65)
Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in second degree (PL 220.70)
Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in first degree (PL 220.71)
Criminal possession of precursors of methamphetamine (PL 220.72)
Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree (PL 220.73)
Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the second degree (PL 220.74)
Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the first degree (PL 220.75)
Unlawful disposal of methamphetamine laboratory material (PL 220.76)
Operating as a major trafficker (PL 220.77)
Unlawful possession of marijuana (PL 221.05)
Criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree (PL 221.10)
Criminal possession of marijuana in the fourth degree (PL 221.15)
Criminal possession of marijuana in the third degree (PL 221.20)
Criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree (PL 221.25)
Criminal possession of marijuana in the first degree (PL 221.30)
Criminal sale of marijuana in the fifth degree (PL 221.35)
Criminal sale of marijuana in the fourth degree (PL 221.40)
Criminal sale of marijuana in the third degree (PL 221.45)
Criminal sale of marijuana in the second degree (PL 221.50)
Criminal sale of marijuana in the first degree (PL 221.55
New York recently passed a law requiring the automatic expungement of some marijuana possession convictions. These expunged convictions would not count toward the total number of convictions on your record. This new law only applies to situations when you’ve been convicted of up to Class B possession of marijuana under either PL § 221.10 or 221.05.
This new law says that it may take up to a year, or until August 27, 2020, for these types of marijuana records to be expunged. Your convictions won’t appear on your RAP sheet or criminal record history after August 28, 2019. However, if you apply for a job as a police officer, or apply fora gun license during this year, your records will be seen by officials.
Legal Effect Of Sealing New York Convictions
- How will Sealing My Drug Conviction Help Me Get a Better Job?expand_more
Record sealing is New York’s best available option to improve your chances of getting a job with misdemeanor or felony convictions on your record. If your court order is granted, your sealed records will not be available to the public and will not appear in background checks for jobs, unless you’re seeking a job in law enforcement. Various criminal justice agencies may access sealed records, but they’re rarely permitted to share them or comment on their existence.
Once you receive a court order sealing your record, you may legally state that you have not been convicted of that crime and act as though it never occurred. New York’s record sealing laws are very effective in helping you pass background checks that most employers require. However, when you seal convictions after completion of a DTAP program, the court will often make the sealing conditional, allowing them to unseal your record if you are later convicted of another crime.
- Will Sealing New York Convictions Restore My Second Amendment Rights?expand_more
Unfortunately, sealing convictions in New York will have no effect on restoring your Second Amendment right to own a gun. However, if you’re eligible to seal your record, you may be able to restore your firearm rights by obtaining a Certificate for Relief from Disabilities or Certificate of Good Conduct.
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 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!