Helping Individuals with criminal records Reenter through Employment

Setting the Record Straight: What Defense Attorneys Need to Know About the Civil Consequences of Client Criminal Records (2001)

Who Is This Pamphlet for?

This pamphlet is intended for New York State defense attorneys. It focuses on the importance of rap sheet accuracy and the process for correcting errors. It also addresses some of the most frequently asked questions about the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction. A defendant who is considering a plea should be advised before-hand of the potential civil consequences of a conviction.


Why Should a Defense Attorney Be Concerned About Rap Sheet Accuracy?

As a defense lawyer, you know that rap sheets can have serious consequences, both within and without the criminal justice system.

Within the criminal justice system, the information in a rap sheet can affect bail, plea offers, sentencing, and even parole or work release. Outside the criminal justice system, rap sheet information can affect an ex-offender's ability to find work, secure housing or obtain public benefits.

It is therefore extremely important to ensure that information on a rap sheet is as complete and accurate as possible.

Defense lawyers can play an important role in ensuring rap sheet accuracy by:

  • Helping clients review their rap sheet for accuracy and completeness
  • Helping them correct errors.
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