Sealing Criminal Records with NY CPL 160.59: Three Representative Results of New York’s “Second Chance” and “Expungement” Law

Since New York CPL 160.59 went into effect in 2017, many hard working and honest people have asked, “Can I seal my old criminal conviction or get it expunged?” Once they realize that they can, their asks routinely morph into, “How do I seal my criminal record?” While the process is not overly complicated to the untrained eye, attention to detail and the proper application of the law is critical. After all, you only get one bite out of the proverbial apple. Fortunately for clients who retained Saland Law PC to seal their respective misdemeanor and felony records, “can” and “how” are questions of the past. No longer haunted by past wrongdoing north of a decade old, their criminal convictions are sealed to the public, friends, and employers.  From Forgery in the Second Degree to  Attempted Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, class D and C felonies, to lesser misdemeanor crimes, our New York conviction sealing lawyers are proud to provide closure to our clients’ shameful pasts and an end to the painful stigma they endured for years.

One recipient of New York Criminal Procedure Law 160.59’s sealing provisions came to Saland Law PC after filing a motion pro se and without legal counsel. Initially opposing the application seeking the sealing of a Forgery in the Second Degree plea, prosecutors ultimately withdrew their challenge upon our redrafting of the sealing motion prior to the court’s decision. Although the case involved one felony charge, it stemmed from an indictment charging more than 100 counts of class D and E felonies including Offering a False Instrument for Filing, Falsifying Business Records, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument and Forgery. Complicating matters, the case stemmed from a multi-year investigation of fraud related to the financial sector, Wall Street, and licensing in the securities industry.

Another client who pleaded to Second Degree Attempted Sale of a Controlled substance, a class C felony, and Criminal Facilitation in the Fourth Degree, a class B misdemeanor, separately, continued to pay for the infractions of his teenage years. Similarly, another client convicted as a young man of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree, a class D felony, also was unable to break free of his humiliating history. Some 26 years later, that conviction continued to have incredibly negative and harmful ramifications both in his employment and daily life. Despite these grave mistakes and criminal convictions, Saland Law PC drafted motions to seal each of their criminal records and successfully argued that the respective judges not penalize these men in perpetuity for the mistakes of their pasts.

At bottom, each of these three defendants represent individuals who despite grave mistakes involving significant felonies and misdemeanors involving fraud and drug offenses, now have opportunities that otherwise were unattainable. Simply, each of them are in far better life positions after the respective judges examining their cases found Saland Law PC’s CPL 160.59 applications compelling and granted the requested sealing relief. While every motion or application to seal a criminal conviction will involve its own separate analysis and rise or fall on many factors, making sure your foundation is strong and argument is persuasive can make the difference between remaining burdened with a public criminal record and embracing the life you earned in becoming the man or woman you are today.

Saland Law PC is a New York criminal defense and conviction sealing law firm established by two former Manhattan prosecutors. Saland Law PC represents clients in conviction sealing motions throughout the State of New York.



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