A new section of the state criminal procedure law recently went into effect that allows for the sealing of eligible criminal convictions for offenses that meet the strict criteria of the statute.
The statute allows the sealing of eligible convictions for offenses upon application to the court 10 years from the date in which the sentence was entered or after release from incarceration, if applicable.
Eligible convictions must meet the following criteria.
Applicants must have only two criminal convictions, only one of which may be a felony. Convictions of eligible offenses committed as part of the same criminal transaction as defined by the law may be considered as only one.
Offenses cannot include conviction of a sex offense, any offense that requires registration as a sex offender, a violent felony or an attempt conviction of any of the above offenses.
A minimum of at least 10 years must have passed since the sentencing for the conviction, plus any time spent incarcerated. For example, a conviction entered on Jan. 1, 2007, and one year served in jail may be eligible for sealing 11 years after entry, or Jan. 1, 2018.
Applicants may not already have the maximum number of convictions sealed under any other section of law.
The person may not have any undisposed arrests, have any charges pending or been convicted of any crimes after the date of entry of the judgment which is requested be sealed.
The sentencing court, upon receipt of complete application, must consider relevant factors of the application, such as the amount of time since the last conviction; the circumstances, seriousness and eligibility of the offense to be sealed; the circumstances surrounding any other offenses for which the applicant has been convicted; the applicant’s character; the steps the applicant has made toward rehabilitation such as participation in treatment, education, employment, community service and other volunteer activities; any statements made by the victim of the offense for which sealing is requested; and the impact if sealing on the defendant’s record on their re-entry to society. The court will weigh those factors against the impact of sealing on public safety and maintaining the public’s respect and confidence in the law.
Call (315) 946-7472 for information and to schedule an appointment.