If you are interested in obtaining a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities to apply for employment or housing, a process is involved before approval is granted. Below, we’re going to delve into that process, as well as how long you can expect it to take.

The Process (and Timeline) of Getting a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities

This certificate may be granted at or after your sentencing for a misdemeanor conviction or a felony conviction with no state prison term. If you have a felony conviction with a prison term, or an out-of-state conviction, you will need to apply to the Board of Parole for your certificate once you begin serving your prison term.

Your attendance in court for the application is not required, because your attorney will represent you.

Depending on your individual situation, the application process takes one to two years on average. Some cases take less time, and others take longer; the length of time depends on each individual record. The process may be expedited if you must have the certificate to apply for a job.

In this case, your attorney will file a customized letter with your application and present it to the Board of Parole for you. Note that if you receive this certificate, it will not allow you to apply for a job termed a public office. “Public Office” jobs require a Certificate of Good Conduct.

Your application will not be adversely affected by a plea of guilty. However, you will need to apply for a separate certificate for each of your convictions – whether or not they occurred in New York State – assuming you are a state resident.

Your application will be passed to the court or the Board of Parole, depending on your situation. The court or the board will review the application to determine your eligibility, your conformity to rehabilitation efforts, and that the certificate issuance would be in the best public interest.

The court or board will request an investigation of your case to make the determination. If an investigation occurs, the court will give you or your attorney a copy of the investigation report.

Potential Problems with Your Certificate and What to Do

If you receive a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities that is limited in scope, you may apply for enlarged relief through a new certificate. This new certificate may include disabilities not removed in the original certificate.

If your application for a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities was denied, it was likely due to the following reasons:

  • Your application was incomplete or inaccurate
  • The board does not believe the certificate’s issuance would be in the public’s best interest
  • You have a probation violation
  • You have outstanding fines to pay

If your application was denied, no appeal process is available to you. However, another request may be made after a longer time period has elapsed.

By working with a skilled attorney to apply for a certificate, you will know that the process is being followed correctly and that you will be represented by a knowledgeable professional. Your attorney will keep in close contact to inform you of the application status and work to process the application as quickly as possible.

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