If you have been convicted of DWI in New York, there is a record of the case kept by the court where you were sentenced. After you were arrested for DWI, a rap sheet was created for you. This rap sheet is an official record of your arrest and conviction history and is kept in Albany by the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). Your rap sheet is most often used by the police and members of the criminal justice system but in some cases, public employers may have access to it.

If an employer seeks access to your rap sheet, they must request an official copy and must fingerprint you in order to get it. If a conviction for DWI in New York is part of your past, a new employer might want to know about it. Some employers choose to conduct thorough background checks into an applicant’s criminal history to avoid liability later for employee misconduct. If an employer fails to conduct a thorough background check before hiring an employee, that employer may be subject to substantial liability should that employee later engage in criminal misconduct that harms co-workers, customers, or other third parties.

Criminal history checks are sometimes required by law for certain types of jobs. Some state and federal laws require criminal history checks where employees may be working with vulnerable groups (for example, children or hospital patients), where employees work with highly sensitive or confidential information, or where employees are in public trust positions, such as working as a police officer, correctional officer, or firefighter. However, New York is one of several states that prohibits employers from using an applicant’s criminal conviction record as an absolute bar to employment. Under New York Corrections Law Section 752(l) & (2), a person cannot be denied employment based on a criminal conviction unless (1) there is a direct relationship between the criminal offense(s) and the employment sought or (2) the granting of the employment would involve an unreasonable risk to property or to the safety or welfare of specific individuals or the general public.

DWI Offenses and Expungement, Sealing of Conviction Records
Expungement is the process of erasing a criminal record. It is important for DWI offenders to know that New York State does not have expungement with respect to DWI misdemeanors and DWI felonies. Expungement is only available if a DWI case was dismissed or the offender was acquitted of the DWI charges. Therefore, a DWI misdemeanor or DWI felony offense is never going to be removed from an offender’s criminal record. Also, a driving while ability impaired (DWAI) traffic violation is one of three violations in New York State that is never expunged or sealed–which means that it will be on the offender’s permanent record for the rest of their life. Sealing of conviction records is currently only allowed in New York under Criminal Procedure Law § 160.50 for those defendants who are acquitted of DWI crimes or who have their cases dismissed, if the DWI charges were dropped, vacated, or the DWI conviction was set aside.

A new bill, sponsored by New York Senator Lee Zeldin, has recently been introduced which is created to help those with minor criminal offense histories. The bill would amend the criminal procedure law to allow the sealing of records of certain nonviolent misdemeanor or nonsexual misdemeanor offenses. This new bill is called the “Second Chance for Ex-Offenders Act” and applies only to certain misdemeanors, youthful offender adjudications and non-criminal offenses. The bill does not apply to felony offenses. Under this bill, applicants who seek to have their misdemeanor conviction records sealed must wait at least seven years from the date that they were sentenced to be eligible, have no new convictions or undisposed arrests, and have been finished with the terms of their sentence for at least five years.

Certificate of Relief From Civil Disabilities
Under, New York Correction Law §702, a person can obtain a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities. This is a certificate from a State court judge which removes any bar to employment automatically imposed by law because of conviction of a crime such as DWI. The purpose of the Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities is to lessen the impact of a criminal record for offenders and to assist in their rehabilitation and return to the community. Under New York Correction Law §700, a person is eligible to obtain this certificate if they have been convicted of a crime or of an offense, but have not been convicted of more than one felony in New York. Under New York Correction Law §702, the court who imposed the sentence on a defendant may grant this certificate at the time of sentencing or any time thereafter.

Certificate of Good Conduct
Under New York Correction Law §703-a, a person may obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct from the State Board of Parole. A Certificate of Good Conduct may be issued to defendants who have been convicted of more than one crime, after a minimum period of time has passed since their unrevoked release from supervision, or from the end date of a sentence. This certificate can provide a “presumption of rehabilitation,” if a person has been convicted of several DWI offenses. This means that they should not be rejected for employment just because of their convictions, unless the convictions have a direct bearing on their ability to perform the job.

This certificate does not seal or expunge a DWI felony conviction but appears on an offender’s rap sheet beside the conviction. This certificate can be obtained from the Division of Parole in Albany and the waiting periods are as follows: Class A& B felonies- 5 years from completion of the sentence, Class C,D, & E Felonies- 3 years from completion of the sentence, Misdemeanors- 1 year from completion of the sentence. In order for a DWI offender to get this certificate, the Parole Board must be satisfied that the offender has conducted himself in a manner warranting the issuance of the certificate and that issuing the certificate is consistent with the rehabilitation of the offender and public safety.

The attorneys at the law firm of Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are experienced in handling DWI cases. If you need a DWI lawyer who can help you obtain the best possible outcome in your DWI case, call the law firm of Nave DWI Defense Attorneys.

The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.