Beginning in 2010, New York State enacted legislation to provide relief to victims of human trafficking. Under this provision, if an individual who was a victim of trafficking shows that the trafficking led to a criminal conviction, the person may petition to vacate the conviction. The law is based on the recognition that trafficking survivors suffer continued harm by being burdened with criminal convictions that arose from others’ exploitation of them.
Since 2016, Appellate Advocates has successfully represented individuals in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island to vacate their convictions under this provision. Our attorneys work hand in hand with outside experts, the Director of Social Work, and our paralegals to provide tailored and client-centered representation for those who have endured such exploitation. Our staff conduct interviews and gather relevant materials to support the vacatur motions. When successful, our clients are able to move forward without the criminal record that had hindered their ability to obtain gainful employment, housing, advance their educations, and participate in other important aspects of life.