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.