Many individuals are unaware that they may qualify for criminal record sealing. With this process, New York prevents access to records about eligible convictions, allowing former offenders to pass background checks and qualify for school and work opportunities.
Review the eligibility requirements and other details about record sealing in New York to determine whether it is an option.
Qualification for record sealing
When the state seals a conviction, it removes those records from public view. Individuals can apply if they have no more than two past criminal convictions and no more than one past felony conviction. New York will not seal records about some crimes, including violent felony offenses, sex offenses, and murder and other Class A felonies.
Sealing becomes available ten years after the person has completed a New York criminal sentence as long as he or she has remained crime-free over that decade.
The record sealing process
The individual must submit a sealing application to the court where he or she received the previous sentence. The applicant must also serve the county district attorney with a Notice of Motion and Affidavit of Support. If the applicant also submits the Request for Seal Verification, he or she will receive official notice of the results of the application.
An individual who has had his or her criminal record sealed can legally answer “no” to employment questions about a past criminal history. This does not apply to jobs in law enforcement, however. Some agencies can access sealed records, including the probation department, district attorney office and child protective services.