Yes, if you are convicted of a crime in New York, typically that conviction becomes a part of the public record. You may not think that anyone will look through the public record or care about your past, but nothing could be further from the truth.
It’s been estimated that approximately 80 percent of employers do criminal record checks before making a hiring decision. Without a job, it can be difficult to find a place to live. In addition, many landlords do criminal background checks on potential tenants as well.
Some people assume that they can get their records “sealed” or expunged. However, that’s not always the case. Many offenses, especially offenses that are sexual in nature, may be a part of your record for years or even decades. Even if your criminal history is of a type that can be sealed from your record or expunged, the process is expensive and can be time consuming.
The best way to avoid dealing with a criminal record is to avoid being convicted of a criminal offense in the first place. It’s crucial that you do everything you can do at the beginning of the case to avoid being convicted. This includes hiring a good attorney with substantial experience in criminal law. Although you may believe it’s not worth it because there is a lot of evidence against you, an experienced criminal defense attorney is trained at finding defenses of which you might be aware, and fighting the prosecution’s evidence.