Cleaning Your Criminal Record in New York State
Even if you’ve paid your fines, served your jail time, finished your community service, and satisfied all the court’s conditions, your legal troubles might not be “over.” A conviction can follow you for years, or even a lifetime, affecting your personal life and career.
There was a time when New York allowed convicted individuals to have records “sealed,” inaccessible to all but law enforcement officials and select others, but this isn’t the case anymore. Now, in New York State, there are only two ways to keep charges off your record.
- Dismissal of Charges
If the court dismisses your charges, this is the same as expungement. You would not have to file any additional paperwork to “clean” your record, because in the eyes of the New York State courts, your record was never marked.
Depending on the charges against you and your previous criminal record, your attorney may be able to meet with the judge hearing your case and the district attorney prosecuting and negotiate an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal, or ACD. This is like a “diversion.” You will not be convicted, but you will have to stay out of any further trouble, and possibly face non-criminal penalties, including fines and/or community service. After a certain period of time, if you don’t run into any further trouble, the charges will be, essentially, dismissed. You will not have a criminal record.
Outside these two scenarios, there is no way to expunge a record in New York State. Neither does the law does allow for any retroactive action to “seal” a valid conviction.
DWI and criminal records in New York State
Many clients who ask about expungement are concerned about a DWI conviction. You cannot remove a DWI conviction from your record. A first conviction will be a misdemeanor, and a second will be a felony. This can affect drivers’ insurance and employability for many years. However, if you are charged with your first DWI, your attorney may be able to secure a plea deal for a DWAI, which is only a traffic violation. A DWAI will not be on your criminal record.
Aggressive and dependable representation
Because there is no way to expunge a criminal record in New York State, you need to act quickly and contact and experienced criminal attorney if you’re facing a charge. Depending on your situation, you might be able to have your charges dismissed, or secure an ACD. If you have questions about your criminal record, or if you qualify for an expungement, Contact dedicated attorney Carl Spector today to set up a free consultation. He would be happy to sit down with you to go over the specifics of your case and provide guidance on how he can help protect your rights.