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What Is the Clean Slate Law?

On November 16, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed the "Clean Slate" law, which aims to provide individuals with criminal records a second chance at life. This law is set to take effect one year from signing and will automatically seal certain convictions from an individual's record after a designated amount of time has passed.

The Clean Slate Law was designed to give those who have made mistakes in the past the opportunity to move forward and rebuild their lives without the burden of a criminal record. This law will significantly impact individuals who have struggled to find employment, housing, or other opportunities due to their criminal history.

The Clean Slate Law in New York represents a significant stride toward criminal justice reform. Signed into law recently, it aims to provide a "clean slate" or a fresh start for individuals with past criminal convictions.

How Long Will It Take for a Conviction to Be Sealed?

Under the Clean Slate Law, certain convictions will be automatically sealed after a designated period of time has passed. For example, misdemeanors will be sealed after three years, and eligible felonies will be sealed after eight years.

However, there are exceptions to this rule. Convictions for serious crimes such as violent felonies and sex offenses will not be eligible for sealing under the Clean Slate Law. Additionally, individuals with multiple convictions will need to wait longer before their records are sealed.

It's important to note that the process of sealing is automatic under this law, meaning individuals do not need to file a petition or go through a court hearing to have their records cleared. The designated time periods will begin counting down once the individual has completed their sentence, including any parole or probation requirements.

How Will This Law Help Individuals with Criminal Records?

The Clean Slate Law in New York is expected to have a positive impact on individuals with criminal records. By automatically sealing certain convictions, this law removes barriers previously preventing individuals from fully reintegrating into society.

One of the main challenges individuals face with criminal records is finding employment. Many employers conduct background checks and may be hesitant to hire someone with a criminal record, even if they have served their time and shown rehabilitation. With the Clean Slate Law, these individuals will have a better chance of securing employment and building a better future for themselves.

Having a clean record can also help with finding housing, obtaining loans, and even getting accepted into schools. This law allows individuals to start over and live a life free from the stigma of their past mistakes.

At Collins Gann McCloskey & Barry PLLC, we believe that everyone deserves a second chance. We offer legal services to help individuals with criminal records navigate the sealing process and take full advantage of this new law.

If you have questions about the Clean Slate Law or need assistance with the sealing process, please contact our team and schedule a consultation online or call us at (516) 218-5131. We are dedicated to helping individuals move forward and achieve their goals without the weight of a criminal record holding them back.