New York Expungement Laws

This guide aims to simplify the process for individuals seeking to understand and potentially clear their criminal records in the state of New York.

Navigating the legal landscape of New York's expungement laws can be complex. This guide aims to simplify the process for individuals seeking to understand and potentially clear their criminal records. New York has specific rules regarding the sealing and expungement of criminal records, and recent legislative changes have made it easier for many to move past their criminal history.

Understanding Sealing vs. Expungement

In New York, it's crucial to differentiate between sealing a record and expunging it. Sealing a record means that it is hidden from public view but still exists, whereas expungement would mean the record is completely destroyed. New York primarily offers sealing under specific conditions.

Sealed Criminal Records in New York

The New York Court System provides detailed information on how criminal records can be sealed, outlining the eligibility criteria and the application process.

Automatic Record Sealing: Clean Slate Law

Recent legislation, known as the Clean Slate Law, was signed to automatically seal certain criminal records, offering a fresh start to millions of New Yorkers.

Sealing Records After 10 Years (CPL 160.59)

New York law CPL 160.59 allows for the sealing of certain convictions after 10 years, subject to specific conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Expungement, and Is It Available in New York City?

Expungement in the context of New York law refers to the destruction of a criminal record, but New York primarily deals with sealing rather than expungement.

What Crimes Cannot Be Expunged in NY?

Certain crimes, especially violent felonies and sex offenses, may not be eligible for sealing under New York law. It's important to consult legal resources or an attorney for specific cases.

How Long Do You Have to Wait to Get Your Record Sealed in NY?

The waiting period for sealing records under CPL 160.59 is generally 10 years from the sentencing date or release from incarceration, whichever is later.

What Is the New Clean Slate Law in NY?

The Clean Slate Law automates the process of sealing certain criminal records after a set period, aiming to improve employment and housing opportunities for those affected.

Additional Resources

For further information and legal assistance, the following resources may be helpful:


New York's approach to criminal records aims to balance public safety with giving individuals a second chance. Understanding the nuances between sealing and expungement, alongside keeping informed about recent legislative changes, is crucial for those looking to clear their criminal history. Always consider consulting with a legal professional to navigate your specific situation effectively.

About the author
Von Wooding

Von Wooding

Counsel Stack develops grounded language models equipped with research, retrieval, and drafting tools. We offer legal leads, pre-built intelligent applications, and white label solutions.

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