Even after you have served time and paid fines for a crime in your past, an old conviction can impact your ability to qualify for certain types of employment and education opportunities. In New York, however, the court will seal eligible past convictions in circumstances. Having a conviction legally sealed means that you can pass a background check and confirm that you have no serious criminal convictions when asked on job applications.
Read on to learn more about the types of convictions that qualify for sealing and how to start the process.
What is the sealing law?
In New York, individuals can have certain types of criminal convictions sealed, or removed from public record. If you have up to two criminal convictions and only one is a felony conviction, you can take advantage of the sealing law if you meet certain other requirements.
Who qualifies for record sealing?
Record sealing becomes available 10 years after your sentencing or release from jail or prison as long as you have remained crime-free for that time period. However, the state will not seal certain crimes:
- Class A felonies such as murder
- Any offense requiring sex offender registration
- Violent felonies
- Conspiracy or attempt to commit any of the crimes listed above
How do I apply for record sealing?
Complete a sealing application and deliver it to the clerk of the court that issued your original sentence. This application includes the Notice of Motion and Affidavit in Support form, which you must service to the district attorney in the county in question. If you enclose the Request for Seal Verification form, you will receive official notification from the Division of Criminal Justice Services that the state has sealed your criminal record.
Once the state seals your record, employers cannot access your past convictions unless you are applying for a job as a peace or law enforcement officer. However, certain agencies can see these convictions for law enforcement purposes, including child protection services, the district attorney and the county probation department.