At Paul D Petrus Jr. & Associates P.C. we understand that many clients did not receive adequate legal representation at trial or during the plea-bargaining aspect of their criminal case. For this reason, Mr. Petrus tries to attack the conviction in any way possible as soon as possible. Mr. Petrus has met with clients in prisons and in jails all over the State of New York and represents clients on appeal outside of New York City.

Court of Appeals Decisions in the State of New York


Art 78 / Order to Show Cause

Article 78 are motions that an attorney makes to force a government agency in the state of New York to either stop doing something or to do something. This goes far back in American legal history to the year 1803 when a very famous case named Marbury v. Madison was decided. Every law student knows of this case. The holding of the case was to determine once and for all that the court could tell the government in some instances what to do here. Orders to Show Cause are most often used in criminal law as a “vehicle” to speed up an Article 78 when there is good cause to do so.

In criminal defense work, we use Article 78 motions most often when trying to correct a governmental mistake. These are often used when a person loses a parole appeal or has unfair parole conditions placed on him by the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. However, it can be used for other criminal matters as well.

People v. Charles, 162 AD 3d 125 – NY: Appellate Div., 2nd Dept. 2018



Certificates of Relief from Disability

One method to retain employability and restore lost civil rights is a request for a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disability made either to the sentencing judge or New York State Department of Corrections & Community Supervision (DOCCS). If client has more than one felony the application is made to DOCCS in Albany and the certificate is technically entitled a “Certificate of Good Conduct.” Many individuals convicted of crimes in the New York state system avail themselves of this opportunity.




While pardons are rarely granted Mr. Petrus has had success in this area. There are no specific types of cases that Governor Cuomo will only pardon, Mr. Petrus experience and knowledge will help guide the client to make the best determination regarding whether and when to file.  Mr. Petrus believes that this opens the door to taking a chance on a case that at first blush might be considered hard. Mr. Petrus will also file pardon applications in federal cases before the President.

Governor Cuomo Issues First Group of Conditional Pardons Restoring the Right to Vote to New Yorkers on Parole.

Governor Cuomo Grants Clemency to 61 Individuals.


Sealings / Expungements

In January of 2018, New York State’s Sealing Law took effect, and Mr. Petrus was one of the first ones, if not the first one, to win one for his client that month over the objections of the New York County District Attorney’s office. Indeed, sealings are serious motions that require a seasoned lawyer. The District Attorney’s office can oppose them and often does.

Sealed Records: After 10 Years (CPL 160.59)



At Paul D Petrus Jr. & Associates, PC we are willing to continue the fight after the criminal or parole case appears to be lost. Writs breakdown into different situations. The first is based on if there was a problematic preliminary hearing in a parole violation and the second is whether or not a person received a fair bail hearing. In both of those situations, the client may have a right to have the criminal court’s decision modified or the parole preliminary hearing officer’s decision reversed.

Mr. Petrus is experienced in both of these matters and believes that all parolees should receive a fair preliminary hearing during his/her parole violation proceedings. Mr. Petrus also believes that one’s bail should be set at an amount that is no greater than necessary to ensure the defendant’s return to court. In addition, if a person’s facts change it might be a good idea to argue again for a lower bail or take a writ.


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