Rules, laws, and regulations in the state of New York are extremely complex. Therefore, there may be instances in which a New Yorker unknowingly breaks the law and is now facing charges. Additionally, there are cases in which it is unclear whether charges will be pressed. In both cases, a New York criminal defense lawyer can inform you of your rights and help you fight the charges you are facing.
It is possible to check to see whether or not you have been charged with a crime in New York on your own. Knowing how to check your own pending charges can add a sense of control and relief to a state of instability. The following guide explains how you can find out if there are criminal charges filed against you.
Suspected NY Criminal Charges: Steps You Can Take
Being unsure about whether you are facing criminal charges in New York can be intimidating. Fortunately, there are concrete steps you can take to determine whether there are any current charges against you. This includes submitting a request for your RAP sheet, requesting a Criminal History Record Search, contacting the local court, contacting law enforcement, and searching in certain databases.
Before pursuing the following options to determine whether there are pending charges, it’s immensely useful to first seek the counsel of a criminal defense lawyer. They can inform you of your rights, give you advice on how to protect yourself, and assist you in learning about the charges.
Requesting Your Official NY Arrest and Conviction History
You can make a request to see the history of all your NY arrests and convictions. This can be done through the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services, or DCJS. This document is known as a Record of Arrest and Prosecution, or a RAP sheet.
Any records of expunged marijuana arrests or convictions will not show up on your RAP sheet. In order to request this sheet, you will need to give your fingerprints. You may be able to determine your prior New York convictions by submitting a Criminal History Record Search, or CHRS, on yourself with the NYS Office of Court Administration.
Contacting the Criminal Court or Law Enforcement
It is possible to get in contact with the local criminal court in the county where you believe that charges are being held against you. In the state of New York, every county has a separate criminal court system for which you can find contact information through an online search. Depending on the county, there may be an online database for the specific criminal court, which you can search through to see whether you have pending charges.
If you have had a recent run-in with law enforcement that might have resulted in charges or if you were involved in an incident that required a police report, it is advisable to contact the law enforcement agency you interacted with to see whether there are any pending charges against you. It is possible that the charges were not yet sent from law enforcement to the criminal courts.
Checking the Mail
You may have been formally served a summons or a notice of a court hearing date. In some criminal cases, these documents are issued through the mail to the address of the defendant’s residence. Therefore, it is critical to regularly check your post for any potential court communications or legal notices. Check other lines of communication, such as your email and voice mailbox, regularly.
If a few weeks have passed and you still have not received notice of any charges against you, it is important to contact your criminal defense lawyer so that you can determine what the next steps should be.
Q: What Is a NY Criminal History Record Search?
A: A Criminal History Record Search, or CHRS, allows one to see the criminal charges of individuals who have been convicted in New York State. It is possible to request a CHRS for yourself or another person. Such a background check is often run by employers or landlords in order to determine whether a person is a good fit for a job or business opportunity.
Q: Is It Possible to Request Archived Criminal Records in New York?
A: Yes, it is possible to request criminal records that have origins before the year 1966. Such records are pulled from the Municipal Archives. Therefore, any matters related to pulling archived records must be discussed directly with the Municipal Archives. In order to go in person, you are required to schedule an appointment beforehand.
Q: Can I File an NY Criminal History Record Search on Myself?
A: In order to successfully file for a CHRS on yourself, you will need to provide your full name and date of birth. It is possible to submit a request for a CHRS either face-to-face or online. For in-person applications, requests can be filed at the NYS Office of Court Administration during weekdays from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM. If the application is submitted before 11:30 AM, then it should be compiled by the end of the following business day.
Q: Should I Contact a Private Investigator to See if There Are NY Charges Against Me?
A: If you suspect that there are criminal charges against you in the state of New York, it may not be advisable to contact a private investigator right away. You could first get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer to learn about your rights and any additional steps that you can take. You could then try to request a Criminal History Record Search or contact the relevant county criminal court or law enforcement. If you are still having trouble, then it might be helpful to contact a private investigator.
Discover and Fight Your New York Criminal Charges
If you suspect that you are facing criminal charges, then a criminal lawyer from the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC, can assist you in finding out whether you have pending charges. If you are facing charges, our legal team has the criminal defense experience and knowledge required to take on your case. Contact our team today so that we can start working together.