If you are convicted of a drug crime in New York, it may create a significant obstacle to finding housing or employment. A conviction may also make it more difficult to obtain an education. However, there is a possibility that a conviction may be sealed.
The criteria for getting records sealed
It’s important to note that not all drug offenses are eligible to be sealed by the state. However, if yours is an eligible offense, you will need to submit proof that you completed your sentence as well as a drug rehabilitation program. Furthermore, if there are charges currently pending against you, the state will not seal your record until those are resolved. It may take six months or more to get your drug charge conviction removed from your public record. The exact timeline in your case will depend on where the proceeding is taking place and if there is any pushback from authorities.
Your records are hidden from most
If you do get your record sealed, it means that it will be hidden from a prospective employer, a landlord or others who might conduct a background check. You also have a broad right to deny or otherwise fail to acknowledge that you have a criminal record after a prior conviction has been sealed.
Reoffending could reopen your record
Your record will typically be unsealed in the event that you commit a crime in the future. At that point, it’s unlikely that you would be able to get your record sealed for a second time. An employer, lender or landlord may also be able to see that you have a criminal record, which may complicate your ability to obtain or retain employment, credit or a place to live.