Sealing of a New York Criminal Record
For certain crimes, the state of New York allows for the sealing of records. Any person convicted of a majority of drug, marijuana, or Willard non-drug crimes may request that his or her records for those crimes be sealed. This is contingent on completing DIVERSION, DTAP, or a comparable substance abuse treatment program as designated by the court of conviction. A drug conviction can be sealed for up to three misdemeanor drug or marijuana convictions rather than just one.
In addition to requesting that records be sealed, a person in New York may also request that palm prints, fingerprints, proofs, copies, and photographs be destroyed if the criminal case is resolved in their favor. According to Consolidated Laws 995-c, all DNA records, samples, records, and other documents related to DNA testing will be reversed upon record sealing. A favorable finding in New York includes acquittal, outright dismissal, and dismissal upon adjournment in the completion of dismissal under CPL 170.55.
Eligibility for Record Sealing
Articles 220, 410.91, and 221 outline the offense convictions in New York that are eligible for record sealing. To be eligible for record sealing, a program outlined in Article 216 or a similar designated drug treatment alternative program must be completed.
If a record is found to be in the court’s favor, the court may move to seal it without an individual’s petition. This will happen after the criminal proceedings are completed. Those judicially sentenced to drug treatment facilities may have their arrest, conviction, and prosecution records sealed in certain circumstances, if the court so orders. Without a petition, records are sealed on a conditional basis. To accomplish this, the court will notify the Federal Bureau of Investigation of any fingerprint history as well as any suppressed information, as well as the district attorney of any materials needed to aid in the sealing of a record.
What is contained in a Sealed Record?
When a record is sealed, it contains various documents. These documents will frequently include official records, official papers, court judgments, court orders, and court decisions. All copies and duplicates of these documents on file in police departments, courts, and prosecutor’s offices will be sealed. These sealed records are then unavailable to any individual, public or private agency, for any reason. In the interests of justice, such as further proceedings and applications for specific jobs and licenses, a record may be unsealed.
The Advantages of Record Sealing
Record sealing is extremely beneficial for those seeking a new start after a criminal conviction. When a record is sealed, it appears to the public that an arrest or conviction never occurred. Individuals are then free to state that they have never been convicted of a crime when applying for employment, student loans, housing assistance, professional licenses and certificates, or any other situation where a background check may be required.