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Queens Expungement Lawyer

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If you’ve been convicted of a crime, you most likely understand just how significantly a criminal record can impact your life. Fortunately, for many people, there is a path to having your record cleared. If you believe you may qualify or wish to learn more about the process, please don’t hesitate to contact a dedicated Queens expungement lawyer from Vasiliou Law for guidance.

Expungement Lawyer | Helping You Wipe the Slate Clean

If you’ve ever had to check “yes” next to “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” on a job application, you know just how important having your record cleared could be. Though we colloquially refer to the process of having your record cleared as “expungement,” New York actually does not technically recognize the process of expungement. That said, certain qualifying individuals may still have their criminal records sealed. If you wish to have your record sealed, consider speaking with a competent Astoria criminal defense lawyer from our legal team for guidance.

What is a Sealed Criminal Record?

Although your criminal conviction cannot be completely destroyed or erased from the record, as it would in expungement, it can still be sealed. Having your record sealed means that the record will still exist, but all fingerprints, booking photos, and DNA samples must be returned to you or destroyed. Additionally, your criminal record will no longer be visible to prospective employers (unless you’re applying for a job in law enforcement or enlisting in the military). In many ways, having your record sealed can give you a new lease on life. No longer having to check “yes” when asked if you’ve been convicted of a crime can make a world of difference.

What Crimes Are Eligible to Be Sealed in NYS?

Importantly, you should understand that not every crime is eligible to be sealed here in New York State. The only crimes eligible are as follows:

  • Noncriminal offenses, such as traffic infractions or disorderly conduct violations.
  • Certain drug convictions, if you successfully complete an approved treatment program.
  • Other misdemeanor or felony convictions, if you have no more than two misdemeanors or no more than one felony and one misdemeanor conviction and have not been convicted of a crime for at least 10 years

What Crimes Are Ineligible to Be Sealed in NYS?

Some of the various crimes that are currently ineligible to be sealed in New York State include sex offenses, violent felonies, serious felonies, and even some noncriminal offenses, such as prostitution and driving while intoxicated. Although these crimes may not be sealed, if you’re currently facing criminal charges, you still have a chance of having those charges lowered or dismissed, as long as you hire a competent Astoria criminal defense lawyer from the start.

The Process of Sealing a Criminal Record

To have your record sealed, you’ll need to retain the services of a competent expungement lawyer who can then guide you through each step of the legal process, which can potentially be a long one. A general breakdown of the process of having your record sealed is as follows:

  • Step 1: Check your eligibility. You can only seal up to two convictions, only one of which can be a felony, and you must have been crime-free for at least 10 years. Some crimes are not eligible for sealing, such as sex offenses, violent felonies, and serious felonies.
  • Step 2: Request a Certificate of Disposition from the court where you were convicted. You need to do this for each case you want to seal. You may have to pay a fee for this document.
  • Step 3: Fill out a Sealing Application (also known as a Notice of Motion and Affidavit in Support). You need to sign this form in front of a notary public. You should also attach any evidence of your rehabilitation, such as letters of recommendation, certificates of completion of treatment programs, educational transcripts, etc.
  • Step 4: Notify the District Attorney’s office about your application. You need to send them a copy of your Certificate of Disposition, your Sealing Application, and any supporting documents. You also need to fill out an Affidavit of Service to prove that you did this.
  • Step 5: File your application with the court where you were convicted. You need to submit the original and two copies of your Certificate of Disposition, your Sealing Application, your Affidavit of Service, and any supporting documents. You may have to pay a filing fee for this.
  • Step 6: Wait for the court’s decision. The court may grant your application without a hearing, or it may schedule a hearing where you and the District Attorney can present arguments and evidence. The court will consider various factors, such as the nature and circumstances of your offense, the impact on the victim and the community, your character and history, and your reasons for seeking sealing.
  • Step 7: If the court grants your application, your record will be sealed. This means that it will be hidden from public view, but some government agencies may still have access to it. However, in most cases, you can now legally say that you were not arrested or convicted of a sealed offense.

Contact an Expungement Lawyer Today

The bottom line is that if you’re looking to start fresh and move on with your life after being convicted of a crime, you need a competent expungement lawyer in your corner who can effectively guide you through each phase of the process. Contact Vasiliou Law today to schedule your free case evaluation with our dedicated legal team.

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