Can I Seal or Expunge My Criminal Record in New York?

Handcuffs and fingerprint records.If you have been convicted, charged, or arrested for a crime in New York, it could negatively influence your chances of getting employment, taking out a loan, or renting or buying a home. Fortunately, you could have your criminal records sealed in this state.

Take note however that sealing is not the same as expungement, since this involves destroying records while sealing would only close or seal your record.

Could I seal everything?

You could seal juvenile records or those that would have been criminal convictions if you faced charges or suffered a conviction when you were older than 16 years old.

However, if you were older than 13 at that time, committed a serious crime, and tried as a juvenile offender, the court might treat your record as if you were already an adult.

You could also seal minor cases that did not result in a conviction as well as noncriminal violation offenses such as trespassing or loitering.

What about drug charges?

It’s likewise possible to seal or clear drug record in New York if the offense is marijuana possession of no more than 7/8 of an ounce but only after three years of the conviction.

In some cases, some judges might clear certain misdemeanors and felonies subject to specific conditions and under extremely limited circumstances, such as the following:

  • If you have completed a drug or alcohol treatment program as ordered by the court;
  • If you have completed other sentences imposed after you have completed your treatment; and
  • If you do not have any other pending charges.

While it is possible to get your criminal record sealed in New York, sealing does not apply to all cases, especially violent crimes. The entire process would also involve satisfying specific requirements and persuading relevant authorities that your record should be sealed.