Expungement Guide

New York Expungement

New York Record Sealing
The state of New York allows the sealing of records for certain crimes. Any individual convicted of a majority of drug, marijuana, or Willard non-drug crimes are eligible to request that his or her records be sealed for those crimes. This is upon the completion of DIVERSION, DTAP, or a similar substance abuse treatment program as designated by the court of conviction. The sealing of a drug conviction is able to extend to as many as three misdemeanor drug or marijuana convictions rather than just one.

In addition to requesting that records be sealed, an individual in New York may also request that palm prints, fingerprints, proofs, copies, and photographs be destroyed when the criminal case is found in favor of the requester. All DNA records, samples, records, and other documents in relation to DNA testing will be reversed upon record sealing according to Consolidated Laws 995-c. In New York a favorable finding includes acquittal, outright dismissal, and dismissal upon adjourning in the completion of dismissal pursuant to CPL 170.55.

Record Sealing Eligibility
Article 220, Article 410.91, and Article 221 outline New York's offense convictions that are eligible for record sealing. A program outlined in Article 216 or a similar designated drug treatment alternative program must be completed to be eligible for record sealing.

The court may motion that a record be sealed without an individual's petition if it is found in the favor of the court. This will take place after criminal proceedings have been terminated. In certain circumstances those judicially sentenced to drug treatment facilities may have their records in relation to arrests, convictions, and prosecution sealed as motioned by the court. Records that are sealed without petition are on a conditional basis. To do this the court will notify the Federal Bureau of Investigation for fingerprint history as well as any suppressed information and notify the district attorney for materials to aid in the sealing of a record.

What is in a Sealed Record
When a record is sealed it will include different documents. These documents will often include official records, official papers, judgments of the court, orders of the court, and court decisions. All duplications and copies of these documents of file in all police agencies, courts, and prosecutor offices will be sealed. These sealed records are then not available to any person or public or private agency for any purpose. A record may be unsealed in the interest of justice, such as further proceedings and applications for particular employments and licenses.

Benefits of Record Sealing
Record sealing is extremely beneficial for those seeking new life following a conviction. After a record is sealed, it will legally appear to the public that an arrest or conviction never took place. Individuals are then free to sight that they have never been convicted of a crime when applying for employment, applying for student loans, applying for housing assistance, applying for professional licenses and certificates, or any other cases where a background check may be necessary.

See also:
New York Misdemeanor External link (opens in new window)
New York Felony External link (opens in new window)
New York Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)