Convicts of New York may get their crimes sealed with new law

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Maybe this will come in handy someday!

A new law in the state of New York will allow some people who were convicted of crimes more than 10 years ago to have those convictions sealed if they can show they have been reformed.

Candidates can have up to two crimes sealed. Only one of those crimes can be a felony. Candidates must also have no charges pending. Anyone who was incarcerated is required to wait 10 years from the date of their release date before they can apply. Crimes that are ineligible for sealing include child pornography, sex crimes, and convictions that require sex offender registration, homicide charges, manslaughter, murder, and any Class A or violent felony.

Anyone who thinks they are eligible for the sealing program can find instructions to apply via the New York court system website. Once an application is received, the court will notify the district attorney who has jurisdiction. The district attorney then has 45 days to file an objection. At that point, the court will decide if a hearing is necessary.

Under the current law, only those under the age of 18 are eligible to have their conviction sealed. But with the new law, it is predicted that there are thousands of New Yorkers who could apply and benefit.

Several prosecutors’ offices have set up teams to handle what they expect will be a surge of applications. Most prosecutors say they don’t expect to issue objections to many of the applications that will likely be received. And several defense attorneys said they were already getting inquiries even before the October 7 effective date.

In a discussion about the new law, Criminal Defense Attorney Jeffrey Lichtman commented, “There are so many people who have spent years never getting in trouble again, but their old criminal conviction has hampered their ability to find a job, get an education, or even find housing. This law provides a way to remove those barriers.”