The New York State Senate held a hearing on a bill that would seal criminal conviction records for some New Yorkers who have served time in prison for serious crimes. The clean slate legislation is an effort to decrease the lingering, lifelong effects of a criminal record once a person has completed their sentence.
The bill proposes a two-step process. First, a person’s conviction records will be automatically sealed once the sentence has been served, and then later, they will be automatically expunged.
If passed, the measure will seal records for misdemeanor convictions a year after a sentence is imposed and expunge them five years later. Felony convictions will be sealed three years after a sentence is imposed and expunged seven years later. The clean slate bill will not apply to individuals who are listed on sex offender registries.
Advocates for the legislation argue that criminal convictions can make it hard for a person to get back on their feet after prison. Those with criminal records can face barriers to housing and employment.
Michigan, Pennsylvania and Utah have passed similar clean slate laws. The proposed measure shares similarities with a recently passed law that expunges criminal records for past marijuana convictions in New York.
There are many benefits to permanently concealing your prior criminal convictions. It can offer you a fresh start and a chance to rebuild your life without any judgment. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at Brill Legal Group are ready to help you seal your criminal records in New York. Contact us today to learn more.