A criminal record can make your life much harder. People with criminal records have a more difficult time getting jobs, housing, and financial aid. Although New York allows criminal records to be sealed, a record can’t be sealed until ten years after the last conviction. Fortunately, there are options for people who need relief sooner: The Certificate of Relief from Disabilities and the Certificate of Good Conduct.
WHAT IS A CERTIFICATE OF RELIEF FROM DISABILITIES?
A Certificate of Relief from Disabilities, or Certificate of Relief, is a certificate from the state Department of Corrections that restores some of a convicted person’s legal rights. These rights include the right to apply for an occupational license and the right to vote. People also apply to have their gun rights restored. A Certificate of Relief is available to anyone who is no longer incarcerated, including those on parole. However, those with multiple felony convictions are not eligible for a Certificate of Relief.
WHAT IS A CERTIFICATE OF GOOD CONDUCT?
A Certificate of Good Conduct, or CGC, is another certificate from the state that also removes some of the legal disabilities that come with a criminal record. A CGC restores some or all of the legal rights someone loses after being convicted of a crime. Like a Certificate of Relief, a CGC can lift the ban that disqualifies convicted felons from possessing a firearm or obtaining a firearms license. Unlike a Certificate of Relief, a CGC can also restore the right to hold public office.
To be eligible for a CGC, you must have at least one felony conviction, wait a certain amount of time after your last conviction, and have had good conduct in the community since your last conviction. A CGC is harder to get than a Certificate of Relief, but it’s available to people with multiple felony convictions.
HOW DO YOU APPLY FOR THESE CERTIFICATES?
Applying for either certificate involves filling out an application and submitting it to the Department of Corrections. The application involves a lot of paperwork and supporting documentation and can take up to two years to process. For that reason, it’s a good idea to have a lawyer help you fill out the paperwork to make sure it’s done correctly and avoid having to start over.
A CGC also involves a correctional officer interview of the applicant to confirm the applicant’s good conduct. A lawyer can help you prepare for this interview to give you the best chance of getting a certificate.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU WANT ONE OF THESE CERTIFICATES?
If your criminal record is getting in the way of living your life the way you want, contact Rosenblum Law for a free consultation today. We’ll answer your questions, provide you a fee quote so you know how much representation will cost, and walk you through the certification process from beginning to end.
Having a criminal record makes your life harder in many ways, whether it’s finding a job, housing, credit, or other opportunities. While New Jersey allows people to expunge their records, the waiting period for a standard expungement is long: five years after completion of a sentence for misdemeanors and ten years for felonies.
Fortunately, there’s a way to get an expungement sooner: the Early Pathway Expungement.
HOW DOES THE EARLY PATHWAY EXPUNGEMENT DIFFER FROM A REGULAR EXPUNGEMENT?
Both types of expungement will clear a person’s criminal record, but the criteria for getting them are different. In a regular expungement, a person is presumptively entitled to the expungement, meaning it can only be denied if there’s a specific reason.
That means the burden is on the applicant to prove it should be granted, not on a prosecutor to prove it should be denied. To prove expungement is in the public interest, you’ll need to show your behavior and accomplishments make you less likely to reoffend. Usually, this means things like proof of education, job training, participation in the community, and letters of support from others. It also helps if you can show your record is making it harder for you to reintegrate into society.
HOW DO I GET AN EARLY PATHWAY EXPUNGEMENT?
To get an early pathway expungement, you’ll need to file a petition with a judge. Unlike a regular expungement, a prosecutor is likely to challenge your petition, so you’ll probably have a hearing in front of a judge. Your chances are much better if you have a lawyer write your petition and argue on your behalf to the judge. Prosecutors know what kinds of arguments will persuade a judge to reject your application, so you don’t want to face them without an experienced lawyer of your own. A good lawyer can analyze the specifics of your conviction to find mitigating factors and emphasize the parts of your life that show why you deserve the expungement.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I WANT AN EARLY PATHWAY EXPUNGEMENT?
If you have a criminal record and are interested in an early pathway expungement, contact Rosenblum Law for a free consultation. Our criminal defense attorneys have a lot of experience with expungements, and we know the best strategies to help you get your life back on track.
An early pathway expungement has shorter waiting periods (five years for a felony, three for a misdemeanor), but the applicant needs to show the expungement is in the public interest.
Having a criminal record makes life harder. It can impact your ability to find housing or a job, receive financial aid, and much more. Fortunately, the state of New York makes it possible to seal your criminal record, which makes your record unavailable to anyone except certain legal officials. Basically, once your record is sealed, it’s like you don’t have one at all.
When can I have my record sealed?
New York law imposes some conditions on people who want their records sealed. While records of arrests that don’t lead to a conviction or convictions for minor offenses are sealed automatically, sealing the record of more serious convictions involves a process. Convictions for a few major crimes, like murder, sexual misconduct, or arson, can’t be sealed.
However, if it’s been more than ten years since you were last convicted or incarcerated, you have fewer than two convictions on your record, and your convictions aren’t on the prohibited list, you can apply to seal your record. Even if you have more than two convictions, you might still be eligible to have your record sealed as long as the convictions weren’t based on more than two incidents. Both misdemeanor and felony convictions can be sealed.
What do I have to do to seal my record?
To seal your record, you have to submit an application to the court that presided over your conviction and the district attorney’s office that prosecuted you. The application must contain the Certificates of Disposition for your convictions and a list of reasons why the conviction should be sealed.
Should I hire a lawyer to help me seal my record?
It’s a very good idea to have a lawyer help you with this process. Record sealing isn’t automatic; the judge can summarily deny your application, and even if he doesn’t, there will be a hearing with the district attorney. Some district attorneys work hard to make sure criminal records don’t get sealed. They’re trained lawyers with a lot of experience, and you don’t want to face them alone. For the best chance at getting your record sealed, you should hire an attorney who’s an expert at having records sealed. We can advocate for you and make sure your arguments are strong enough to persuade the judge and the DA that you deserve to have your record sealed.
What happens when my record is sealed?
When your record is sealed, files related to your conviction only become available to certain legal authorities. That means employers, landlords, and lenders can’t see it, and you can get on with your life. Contact Rosenblum Law for a free consultation about record sealing.
For more information click here: https://rosenblumlaw.com/our-services/expungements-in-new-jersey/how-to-file-expungement/