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Mark I. Cohen, ESQ. NYC Criminal Attorney

3 Reasons To Have Your New York Criminal Record(s) Sealed Or Expunged


When convicted of a crime anywhere in the United States, in addition to facing the well-known direct consequences such as spending time in jail, probation, and/or paying monetary fines, you risk facing other less-known indirect consequences (i.e., collateral consequences). Unfortunately, many people overlook the indirect consequences of convictions, only for them to end up suffering in the long run. The collateral consequences that follow after an individual has been convicted of a crime can affect several areas of a person’s life. Generally, a publicly available criminal record is available to lenders, employers, and even landlords. Unfortunately, these individuals often hold people’s criminal records against them. Fortunately, if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime, you can have your criminal record(s) either sealed or expunged.

Generally, an expungement removes a person’s conviction entirely and makes it look like an individual never committed the crime, whereas sealing only removes an individual’s criminal record from public view. A sealed criminal record still exists and can be accessed. However, only a limited number of parties can access sealed records.

Unfortunately, except for marijuana crimes, the state of New York does not allow for the expungement of criminal records. However, New York allows for criminal record sealing for a wide array of criminal convictions. Once your sealing application is approved, you can rest assured that your criminal record will not be accessible in most circumstances. Some of the people that can view a sealed criminal record include,

  • the individual whose record has been sealed (with i.d.)
  • another individual authorized by the individual whose record has been sealed (with i.d.)
  • an employer when an individual applies for a job that entails carrying a gun
  • a parole officer, if an individual whose record has been sealed is arrested while on parole or probation

Whether you were convicted for a felony or a misdemeanor, you should consider having your record sealed because even a misdemeanor conviction can be used against you. If you don’t have more than two misdemeanors or more than one felony and one misdemeanor conviction and you have been crime-free for at least a decade, you can ask the court to seal your qualifying criminal record(s).

Below are three reasons to have your New York criminal record(s) sealed or expunged.

A Criminal Record Can Prevent You From Getting a Job

Many employers refuse to employ individuals with criminal records. Having your records sealed or expunged can prevent employers from seeing your past conviction(s) during background checks.

A Criminal Record Can Prevent You From Accessing Loans

When you apply for a loan, the lender will most likely do a background check on you. With expungement or sealing, you can avoid being denied loans since sealed or expunged records cannot be accessed by lenders.

A Criminal Record Can Hinder You From Traveling Outside United States

Generally, criminal records make it hard for people to travel outside the United States. A criminal record can make you miss out on taking a trip of a lifetime or even your dream job. Therefore, it would be best for you to consider having your qualifying criminal records sealed or expunged.

Contact Us for Legal Help

If you need help determining whether your criminal record(s) can be sealed or expunged or having your records sealed or expunged, contact qualified NYC criminal attorney Mark I. Cohen today.


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