Do you have questions about New York certificates of good conduct? We can help you to navigate the complex New York legal system. Our attorneys have answered the most frequently asked question that we receive about certificates of good conduct. If you can't find the answer to your question, ask it in the comments below and one of our attorneys will answer it for you!
There is a statutory waiting period. If your most serious crime that you were convicted of was a misdemeanor, the minimum waiting period of good conduct is one year. If your most serious crime that you were convicted of was a class C, D or E felony, the minimum waiting period of good conduct is three years. If your most serious crime that you were convicted of was a class B or A felony, the minimum waiting period of good conduct is five years.
The minimum period begins from the date of the payment of any fine imposed on you or the suspension of sentence, or from the date of your unrevoked release from custody by parole, commutation or termination of your sentence. §703-b(1) and §703-b(3)
The main difference between the two certificates is who is eligible to apply for each. A Certificate of Relief from Disabilities can be issued, in certain situations, as early as at the time of sentencing. However, a Certificate of Good Conduct has a statutorily required waiting period. Both certificates may be issued to remove legal bars or disabilities or to remove only specific bars or disabilities. Only a Certificate of Good Conduct will restore the right of an individual to apply for public office. §703-a(1); §703-b(1)(a); §701(1); §702(2)
Some jobs in New York (like police officer and firefighter) are considered "public offices.” Only a Certificate of Good Conduct can lift a statutory bar to a job that is considered to be a "public office."
There is no complete list of all the public offices in New York, but they include law enforcement jobs (like police or firefighters), notary public positions, and some elective offices. Often these public offices have felony bars meaning felony convictions disqualify you from these positions regardless of the receipt of a certificate of good conduct. §703-b(2)
The Board of Parole will consider if you have done the following: “(a) The applicant has conducted himself in a manner warranting such issuance for a minimum period in accordance with the provisions of subdivision three of this section; (b) The relief to be granted by the certificate is consistent with the rehabilitation of the applicant; and (c) The relief to be granted is consistent with the public interest.” Basically, the Board of Parole determines if you are rehabilitated and it is in the interest of justice to grant the certificate. §703-b(1)
Yes. The law states that “[t]he board shall have power and it shall be its duty to investigate all persons when such application is made...” §703-b(3)
Where the Board of Parole has issued a Certificate of Good Conduct to remove only specific bars or disabilities, we can apply to the Board of Parole to issue a new Certificate of Good Conduct and subsequently enlarge the requested relief to include bars or disabilities not removed in the original Certificate of Good Conduct that was issued. §703-a(4)
We will be glad to work with you to get a copy of your record and to review what can be done. We charge a researching fee and we apply that to the cost of any service that you hire us to perform.
No, you only need to obtain one certificate, which is then applied to your entire record. §703-a(1)
Cases are denied for the following reasons: (1) an inaccuracy in the application, (2) the parole board does not believe granting you a certificate of good conduct will be in the interest of society, (3) violating probation, or (4) not paying fines. §703-b(1)
We go to court on your behalf. While we may recommend your attendance, attendance is not required in most cases.
Typically, the process takes about nine to twelve months.
We base our estimates of how long a case will take on how long the average is for that service in that state. Some cases, however, can take less or more time depending on the facts of the case, whether the DA is agreeing or objecting, the age of the case, etc. We work on your case as fast as we can and assist the court and DA in anything they need to get your case heard.
If you need your Certificate in a hurry, you should explain why in a letter with your completed application form. When a job or occupational license is at stake, the Board of Parole makes every effort to speed up the application process. If helpful, we will gladly write your employer or potential employer a letter letting them know we are seeking a certificate of good conduct.
If the case is denied, we evaluate the reason for the denial and determine the best way to proceed. There is not any option for an appeal or court action because these decisions are entirely discretionary with the Dept. of Corrections. However, we can request that the Dept. of Corrections reconsider their decision depending on the circumstances. Another option is to refile after more time has passed.
You will receive the certificate, signed by the Board of Parole. §703-b(1)
You have an attorney to (1) make sure the process is done right the first time so your case does not get rejected or cost you months of delay and (2) send an attorney to court to argue the case if need be.
Once you sign up we have you fill out a questionnaire on your personal online account. The questionnaire asks questions that influence the outcome of the case and allows us to argue the case before a judge. Although some of the questions may seem simple, the more information and detail that you provide in your answers the better able we are to argue the case in your favor.
We have an online tracking system that is just for your case(s). You will have a user name and password for the account, which will have the information specific to the case. Whenever anything happens in your case, we post the information in your online account so that you can view the status of the case and the progress that is made. If there is no post on your online account, then that means that there is no update in the case. For example, once we update your online account to reflect that we have filed the motion with the court we will update the notes when we hear a response from the court or District Attorney. Depending on the court, a case can take several weeks to months to hear from the court or District Attorney whether there is an objection, hearing, or anything else. If something is taking longer than usual for the court, we will call to obtain status of the case and update your online notes. In addition to posting the status updates in your online account, we will post your case information in the case information so you are aware of the case and future hearings.
Moreover, we post your contract and payment plan information on the online account for you so that you can view all the information and print the necessary content.
We are unable to offer a money back guarantee because the process involves a substantial amount of preparation and sometimes several appearances in court by our attorneys. We cannot afford to offer this low of a price and a money back guarantee.
We can create a payment plan that meets your needs. Please view the pricing for details regarding payment plans.
A Certificate of Good Conduct can be extremely beneficial when you are seeking employment or applying for an occupational license. A public agency or private employer must give consideration to a certificate of good conduct issued to an applicant and the certificate “shall create a presumption of rehabilitation in regard to the offense or offenses specified therein.” This means that your conviction should not result in your being rejected for employment or refused a license unless there is other evidence that you are not qualified.
However, a certificate does not completely protect you from being denied employment or a license because of your criminal record. A certificate is not a pardon and does not remove your convictions from your record. You must still list your convictions on job applications where the question is asked. Furthermore, the convictions will still appear on your rap sheet and be considered when applying for a license. The law does allow an employer or licensing agency to refuse to employ or license an applicant where your convictions are “job-related.” §703-a(2); §703-a(3)
A Certificate of Good Conduct may be issued to remove all legal bars or disabilities or to remove only specific bars or disabilities. In addition, a Certificate of Good Conduct will restore the right of an individual to apply for public office. §703-a(1)
Whether these certificates are permanent or temporary depends upon the applicant’s circumstances. Any Certificate of Good Conduct issued by the Board of Parole to an individual still on probation or parole, shall be deemed to be a temporary certificate until such time as the individual is discharged from probation or parole, and, while temporary, such certificate may be revoked by the board for violation of the conditions of parole or release. Revocation shall be upon notice to the parolee, who shall be accorded an opportunity to explain the violation prior to decision thereon. §703-b(5)
A Certificate of Good Conduct shall become a permanent certificate upon expiration of probation or parole.
Upon completion of your prison or parole sentence for a felony conviction, your civil rights are automatically restored.
Criminal violations may have severe consequences for immigrants, even if the crime is expunged/vacated/sealed. Even minor offenses such as petty theft can make someone deportable or inadmissible, while more serious offenses such as burglary may not have the same consequences. Since each case is unique, getting a case-by-case analysis tailored to your specific facts is imperative. To find out if your criminal conviction will impact your immigration case, contacting a qualified immigration attorney is vital. Our in-house immigration attorney is available to answer questions at 714-617-8395.
A Certificate of Good Conduct may remove New York State’s statutory bar to apply for and receive a license to possess a firearm imposed upon those convicted of a felony or serious offense, it does not prevent the agency from denying the issuance of a license.
However, there is also a lifetime prohibition from the United States government (Lautenberg Amendment to the Violence Against Women Act), which prohibits firearm ownership of those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence as defined by the federal law. The federal definition is narrower than New York's definition, so your domestic violence conviction in New York might not trigger the federal law. A certificate in New York does not lift the federal prohibition. §703-a(2)
In New York, you may serve on a jury if you: 1) are a United States citizen, 2) are over the age of eighteen, 3) are a resident of the county by which you are summoned, 4) are able to understand and communicate in English, 5) have not been convicted of a felony, unless you have had your rights restored.
Yes. The conviction(s) will still appear; however, the Certificate of Good Conduct will appear next to the relevant convictions on your rap sheet. §703-a(3)
Any Board of Parole issuing or revoking any certificate shall immediately file a copy of the certificate, or of the order of revocation, with the New York State Identification and Intelligence System.
Records shall be updated immediately.
No. A certificate of good conduct does not affect your DMV records.