Clearing Your Criminal Record
Are you looking into clearing your criminal record? 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.
Clearing Your Criminal 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.
Clearing Your Criminal Record | Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal
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.
If you wish to know more about clearing your criminal record, please call our NYC criminal defense attorney Carl Spector today for a free consultation.