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Sealing a criminal record in New York

| Oct 30, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

Are you struggling to get a job, find an apartment or qualify for school after a past criminal conviction? If you have served your sentence, you may be eligible to have your criminal record sealed in New York. The laws for record sealing changed in the state in 2017. 

When the state agrees to seal your record, you will have a clear background check and can honestly answer that you have no past convictions on employment and rental applications. 

Qualifications for record sealing

You may be eligible to have your records sealed if you have no more than two past convictions, one of which must be a misdemeanor. You must have completed the required legal penalties for the convictions at least 10 years ago and have a clear record for the previous decade. 

You cannot qualify for record sealing if you have committed or attempted to commit a violent felony, sex offense, or murder or another Class A felony. 

The record sealing process

Start by submitting the state’s sealing application to the court where you originally received your sentence. You must also serve the enclosed notice of motion and affidavit to the county district attorney. If you want to receive notice that New York approved your sealing application, you should also include the Request for Seal Verification. 

Completing this process will prevent employers, except for law enforcement agencies, from accessing your criminal history. However, the state probation department, child protective services and certain other agencies can still see sealed records. Unlike some states, New York will not completely expunge, or erase, your criminal record. 

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