November 20, 2018

Those with a Criminal Record Can Now Have a Second Chance Thanks to New State Law

It appears as though a new state law in New York will give those with a criminal record a second chance of sorts by sealing two previous misdemeanors, or one previous felony as long as it is non-violent. The first client to make use of this new law has now done so. The person was convicted in the 1980s in Nassau County with a misdemeanor. His criminal record has now been sealed by a Long Island court. The goal of the new law is to give non-violent offenders a second chance without a criminal record to deal with.

Why is a Second Chance So Important?


This move to give non-violent offenders a second chance has stemmed from the issues these convicted people have trying to find a job and even housing. It’s quite common for potential employers to ask if a person has been convicted of a crime or felony, and housing applications typically ask the same. When a person answers yes, they risk being turned down.

The new law, which is meant specifically for low-level offenders, went into effect on Oct. 7, 2017, so it is still relatively new. In fact, many non-violent offenders with a record may not even know this new law exists and that they can have their record sealed.
Before the law went into effect, the state of New York was actually among a minority of states that didn’t allow for second chances. The state has now taken a step in the direction of the majority of the country by allowing these non-violent offenders a chance at a clean slate. California is an example of another state that allows for this second chance.

Who Can This Law Help?


As for the type of convicted criminals, this law can help, it will help those who have been convicted of crimes such as a minor drug transaction, shoplifting, and driving under the influence. The idea is that they have already served a sentence and/or pay fines, so it shouldn’t have to sit on their record and affect the rest of their lives.

The crime may have been committed when they were younger and have since matured, or they have gotten help for their issues during this time. The law aims at not punishing people for the rest of their life for a mistake.

What Should You Do?


If you currently have a criminal record yourself and you’re wondering if this new law can help you, it’s a good idea to contact a criminal defense attorney in the state in which you were convicted, such as the attorneys at Kostopoulos Law Group LLC, who can provide you with information and advice.

One Mistake Doesn’t Have to Determine a Person’s Future


Thanks to this new law in New York, one mistake no longer has to determine a person’s future as there is a very real chance that a clean slate is indeed possible.