New York Passes Law Allowing the Sealing of Some Criminal Convictions
Date:  04-13-2017

The law will not automatically exclude law enforcement agencies from unsealing certain criminal records
From PRNewswire:

MINEOLA, N.Y., April 12, 2017 -- Today, April 12th, 2017, The New York State Legislature passed the 2017-18 budget, now signed by the Governor, with exciting new developments in the field of criminal law. While one change involved raising the State's age of criminal responsibility, a much more far-reaching provision has been included in the budget. Legislators added a new section to the Penal Law, ยง 160.59, allowing for the sealing of select criminal convictions. This change will allow the tens of thousands deserving New Yorkers who are now eligible to seal their criminal convictions and gain a fresh start on life.

Before this law passed, a criminal conviction in New York remained on a person's record for life, and would appear as part of any civil background check. Under the new law, many crimes are eligible for record sealing, including most misdemeanor and felony convictions. A sealed record means the conviction cannot be made available to the public, and will not appear as part of a civil background check. Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) convictions are eligible for sealing. Sex offenses, homicides, and other violent felonies are among the crimes that are ineligible for sealing.

The new law permits two eligible offenses to be sealed, but not more than one eligible felony offense. In addition, a person with two or more felony convictions will also be ineligible to apply for record sealing. To qualify, ten years must have passed since the imposition of sentence on the most recent conviction. An applicant also cannot have any pending charges or have any criminal convictions within the preceding 10 years. Continue reading >>>