Serving Northern New York Since 1876

Apply to Have Criminal Convictions Sealed

New York State does not have laws in place to erase or “expunge” criminal records. In its place, New York has created processes for sealing certain criminal records. Sealing means that, while the criminal record is not erased, any related fingerprints, booking photos, and DNA samples may be returned to you or destroyed, and records of the crime may be hidden from the public.

New York’s Criminal Procedure Law Section 160.59, effective October 2017, has created the option for individuals who have not been convicted of a crime in the past 10 years to apply to have criminal convictions sealed.

In order to apply to have a conviction sealed under the new law, a person must meet certain requirements, primarily including but not limited to:

  1. You may have up to two convictions, including only one felony conviction.

  2. To be considered sealed, a crime must be an “eligible offense.” Most non-violent felonies and misdemeanors are “eligible offenses.”

  3. It must have been at least 10 years since either

    • the date your sentence was imposed, or

    • the date of release from your last period of incarceration.

  4. You must not have been convicted of any new crimes during the 10 year waiting period.

Once your application is filed, the District Attorney’s Office has 45 days to notify the court whether they will oppose the sealing request. The judge will consider a number of factors in determining whether to grant a sealing application, including the amount of time since the individual’s last conviction, the circumstances of the offense the individual seeks to have sealed, any other convictions, the individual’s character, statements by any victims of the offense, the impact sealing will have on the individual’s reintegration into society, and the impact sealing will have on the public.

If you are an individual interested in having your convictions sealed, you should contact a criminal defense attorney who can help you understand whether the law applies to you and assist you every step of the way through the application process.

Contact Attorney Matthew J. Porter for a Consultation Today!

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