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New York record sealing provision goes into effect

Effective Oct. 7, 2017, individuals who have not been arrested or convicted of a crime in the past 10 years are now eligible to request to seal certain previous criminal convictions.

New York Criminal Procedure Law (“C.P.L”) § 160.59 allows defendants to apply to seal one felony and one misdemeanor conviction, or two misdemeanor convictions, for offenses other than violent and Class A felonies, and most sex crimes, after the passage of 10 years from the later of conviction or release from prison, according to Law360.com.

However, a sealed record does not disappear completely. Under C.P.L § 160.59, sealed records will be unavailable to employers but will remain available to law enforcement and select regulatory agencies including the office of professional medical conduct, child protective services and financial fraud and consumer protection units.

The law will only allow for the sealing of convictions in New York state courts. The law does not apply to convictions in federal or out-of-state courts.

The provision is part of the state’s “ongoing efforts to eliminate unnecessary barriers to opportunity and employment that formally incarcerated individuals face and to improve the fairness and effectiveness of the state’s criminal justice system,” according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Source: Law360.com, 10/10/2017

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