Sealing Criminal Convictions

Last updated on October 3, 2023

Long after any sentence has been served, a criminal record can continue to wreak havoc with your life and limit your opportunities to build your future. It can make it almost impossible to find a decent job. You may be denied housing or disqualified from receiving public benefits. You can find yourself being rejected from educational programs and denied certain professional licenses. It can seem that you will have to carry your past mistakes around with you for the rest of your life. What can you do? Who can you turn to for help?

A New York criminal defense attorney can be an invaluable ally in such circumstances. Equipped with extensive knowledge of the law and the legal system, an attorney can help you navigate the complex path towards restoring your life. A skilled lawyer can offer legal counsel on possible avenues for expunging or sealing your criminal record, a process that can significantly reduce the negative impacts of your past criminal history. Suffolk County criminal attorney Jason Bassett can help you understand your rights, and aggressively advocate for you, challenging any unjust practices and fighting to ensure that your past does not control your future. With his support, you can work towards overcoming the barriers imposed by your past mistakes and move forward with renewed hope and purpose. Contact the law office of Criminal Attorney Jason Bassett today at (631) 259-6060 to schedule a consultation.

Unlike some other states, New York has no laws to erase or “expunge” criminal convictions. However, New York does have a process under New York Criminal Procedure Law Section 160.59 called “sealing.” This process can be deceptively complex and full of pitfalls for anyone not familiar with the application of this law. You need an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney to guide you through the process. The Law Offices of Jason Bassett, P.C. helps people get their criminal convictions sealed so they can move on with their lives. You may now be asking yourself, “Can I get my criminal record sealed?”

To be eligible for sealing, you need to have been crime-free for at least 10 years since the date of your last conviction or release from jail/prison. Generally, you can only make a motion to have up to 2 misdemeanor convictions or 1 felony and 1 misdemeanor conviction sealed. However, even if you have more than 2 convictions, they may all be eligible for sealing if they are related to the same 1 or 2 incidents. For example, if you were charged and convicted of multiple crimes during a single incident, the court may decide to treat the multiple convictions as 1 conviction. Sex offenses along with violent felonies and other serious felonies are not eligible for sealing (see “List of Offenses Not Eligible for Sealing” below). You cannot apply to have any convictions sealed if you have a current criminal case pending. Once a court approves your motion, all official court and Division of Criminal Justice Services records relating to those specific arrests, prosecutions, and convictions will be sealed. Members of the public – including employers and housing agencies – cannot see any conviction that is sealed. Sealed criminal convictions can only be seen by federal, state, and local law enforcement and a limited number of state agencies (see “List of Agencies Who Can See Sealed Convictions” below).

To have the best possible chance of succeeding on a motion to seal criminal convictions, under N.Y. C.P.L. Section 160.59, you need a skilled and experienced criminal lawyer to prepare your motion and, if necessary, argue in court on your behalf. The Law Offices of Jason Bassett, P.C. will interview you and evaluate your prior record, obtain all the necessary information and documentation, and prepare a comprehensive motion to convince the court that you deserve a second chance. Jason Bassett, Esq. brings a unique combination of skill, experience, and zealous advocacy to the representation of all clients. He has dedicated his practice to protecting the rights of individuals, and that includes the right to escape the limitations that criminal records can often impose. Let the Law Offices of Jason Bassett, P.C. help you get some of your life back.

List Of Offenses Not Eligible For Sealing:
Sex Offenses:
  • PL §130.20 – Sexual Misconduct
  • PL §130.25 – Rape 3rd Degree
  • PL §130.30 – Rape 2nd Degree
  • PL §130.35 – Rape 1st Degree
  • PL §130.40 – Criminal Sexual Act 3rd Degree
  • PL §130.45 – Criminal Sexual Act 2nd Degree
  • PL §130.50 – Criminal Sexual Act 1st Degree
  • PL §130.52 – Forcible Touching
  • PL §130.53 – Persistent Sexual Abuse
  • PL §130.55 – Sexual Abuse 3rd Degree
  • PL §130.60 – Sexual Abuse 2nd Degree
  • PL §130.65 – Sexual Abuse 1st Degree
  • PL §130.65-a – Aggravated Sexual Abuse 4th Degree
  • PL §130.66 – Aggravated Sexual Abuse 3rd Degree
  • PL §130.67 – Aggravated Sexual Abuse 2nd Degree
  • PL §130.70 – Aggravated Sexual Abuse 1st Degree
  • PL §130.75 – Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child 1st Degree
  • PL §130.80 – Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child 2nd Degree
  • PL §130.85 – Female Genital Mutilation
  • PL §130.90 – Facilitating a Sex Offense with a Controlled Substance
  • PL §130.91 – Sexually Motivated Felony
  • PL §130.95 – Predatory Sexual Assault
  • PL §130.96 – Predatory Sexual Assault Against a Child
  • PL §263.05 – Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance
  • PL §263.10 – Promoting an Obscene Sexual Performance by a Child
  • PL §263.11 – Possessing an Obscene Sexual Performance by a Child
  • PL §263.15 – Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child
  • PL §263.16 – Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child
  • PL §263.30 – Facilitating a Sexual Performance by a Child with a Controlled Substance or Alcohol
  • Any conviction that requires you to register as a Sex Offender
Homicide Offenses:
  • PL §125.10 – Criminally Negligent Homicide
  • PL §125.11 – Aggravated Criminally Negligent Homicide
  • PL §125.12 – Vehicular Manslaughter 2nd Degree
  • PL §125.13 – Vehicular Manslaughter 1st Degree
  • PL §125.14 – Aggravated Vehicular Homicide
  • PL §125.15 – Manslaughter 2nd Degree
  • PL §125.20 – Manslaughter 1st Degree
  • PL §125.21 – Aggravated Manslaughter 2nd Degree
  • PL §125.22 – Aggravated Manslaughter 1st Degree
  • PL §125.25 – Murder 2nd Degree
  • PL §125.26 – Aggravated Murder
  • PL §125.27 – Murder 1st Degree
  • PL §125.40 – Abortion 2nd Degree
  • PL §125.45 – Abortion 1st Degree
  • PL §125.50 – Self-Abortion 2nd Degree
  • PL §125.55 – Self Abortion 1st Degree
  • PL §125.60 – Issuing Abortion Articles
Class A Felony Offenses:
  • Any Class A felony offense
Class B Violent Felony Offenses:
  • PL §110/125.25 – Attempted Murder 2nd Degree
  • PL §110/135.25 – Attempted Kidnapping 1st Degree
  • PL §110/150.20 – Attempted Arson 1st Degree
  • PL §125.20 – Manslaughter 1st Degree
  • PL §125.22 – Aggravated Manslaughter 1st Degree
  • PL §130.35 – Rape 1st Degree
  • PL §130.50 – Criminal Sexual Act 1st Degree
  • PL §130.70 – Aggravated Sexual Abuse 1st Degree
  • PL §130.75 – Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child 1st Degree
  • PL §120.10 – Assault 1st Degree
  • PL §135.20 – Kidnapping 2nd Degree
  • PL §140.30 – Burglary 1st Degree
  • PL §150.15 – Arson 2nd Degree
  • PL §160.15 – Robbery 1st Degree
  • PL §230.34(5)(a)&(b) – Sex Trafficking
  • PL §255.27 – Incest 1st Degree
  • PL §265.04 – Criminal Possession of a Weapon 1st Degree
  • PL §265.09 – Criminal Use of a Firearm 1st Degree
  • PL §265.13 – Criminal Sale of a Firearm 1st Degree
  • PL §120.11 – Aggravated Assault upon a Police Officer or a Peace Officer
  • PL §120.07 – Gang Assault 1st Degree
  • PL §215.17 – Intimidating a Victim or Witness 1st Degree
  • PL §490.35 – Hindering Prosecution of Terrorism 1st Degree
  • PL §490.40 – Criminal Possession of a Chemical Weapon or Biological Weapon 2nd Degree
  • PL §490.47 – Criminal Use of a Chemical Weapon or Biological Weapon 3rd Degree
Class C Violent Felony Offenses:
  • An attempt to commit any of the Class B felony offenses listed above
  • PL §125.11 – Aggravated Criminally Negligent Homicide
  • PL §125.21 – Aggravated Manslaughter 2nd Degree
  • PL §130.67 – Aggravated Sexual Abuse 2nd Degree
  • PL §120.08 – Assault on a Peace Officer, Police Officer, Fireman or Emergency Medical Services Professional
  • PL §120.09 – Assault on a Judge
  • PL §120.06 – Gang Assault 2nd Degree
  • PL §121.13 – Strangulation 1st Degree
  • PL §140.25 – Burglary 2nd Degree
  • PL §160.10 – Robbery 2nd Degree
  • PL §265.03 – Criminal Possession of a Weapon 2nd Degree
  • PL §265.08 – Criminal Use of a Firearm 2nd Degree
  • PL §265.12 – Criminal Sale of a Firearm 2nd Degree
  • PL §265.14 – Criminal Sale of a Firearm with the Aid of a Minor
  • PL §265.19 – Aggravated Criminal Possession of a Weapon
  • PL §490.15 – Soliciting or Providing Support for an Act of Terrorism 1st Degree
  • PL §490.30 – Hindering Prosecution of Terrorism 2nd Degree
  • PL §490.37 – Criminal Possession of a Chemical Weapon or Biological Weapon 3rd Degree
Class D Violent Felony Offenses:
  • An attempt to commit any of the Class C violent felony offenses listed above
  • PL §120.02 – Reckless Assault of a Child
  • PL §120.05 – Assault 2nd Degree
  • PL §120.18 – Menacing a Police Officer or Peace Officer
  • PL §120.60 – Stalking 1st Degree
  • PL §121.12 – Strangulation 2nd Degree
  • PL §130.30 – Rape 2nd Degree
  • PL §130.45 – Criminal Sexual Act 2nd Degree
  • PL §130.65 – Sexual abuse 1st Degree
  • PL §130.80 – Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child 2nd Degree
  • PL §130.66 – Aggravated Sexual Abuse 3rd Degree
  • PL §130.90 – Facilitating a Sex Offense with a Controlled Substance
  • PL §135.35 (3)(a)&(b) – Labor Trafficking
  • PL §265.02 (5), (6), (7), (8), (9) or (10) – Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd Degree
  • PL §265.11 – Criminal Sale of a Firearm 3rd Degree
  • PL §215.16 – Intimidating a Victim or Witness 2nd Degree
  • PL §490.10 – Soliciting or Providing Support for an Act of Terrorism 2nd Degree
  • PL §490.20 – Making a Terroristic Threat
  • PL §240.60 – Falsely Reporting an Incident 1st Degree
  • PL §240.62 – Placing a False Bomb or Hazardous Substance 1st Degree
  • PL §240.63 – Placing a False Bomb or Hazardous Substance in a Sports Stadium or Arena, Mass Transportation Facility or Enclosed Shopping Mall
  • PL §405.18 – Aggravated Unpermitted Use of Indoor Pyrotechnics 1st Degree
Class E Violent Felony Offenses:
  • PL §110/265.02 (5), (6), (7), or (8) – Attempted Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd Degree as a lesser included offense of that section as defined in CPL §220.20
  • PL §130.53 – Persistent Sexual Abuse
  • PL §130.65-a – Aggravated Sexual Abuse 4th Degree
  • PL §240.55 – Falsely Reporting an Incident 2nd Degree
  • PL §240.61 – Placing a False Bomb or Hazardous Substance 2nd Degree
Conspiracy Offenses:
  • PL §105.10 – Conspiracy 4th Degree when the crime you conspired to commit is one of the charges listed above
  • PL §105.13 – Conspiracy 3rd Degree when the crime you conspired to commit is one of the charges listed above
  • PL §105.15 – Conspiracy 2nd Degree when the crime you conspired to commit is one of the charges listed above
  • PL §105.17 – Conspiracy 1st Degree when the crime you conspired to commit is one of the charges listed above
List Of Agencies That Can See Sealed Convictions:
  • Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies acting within scope of their law enforcement duties;
  • Courts in the New York Unified Court System;
  • Probation departments;
  • Sheriffs’ offices;
  • District Attorneys’ offices;
  • The NY State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision;
  • Department of Corrections of any municipality within New York;
  • The Financial Frauds and Consumer Protection Unit of the State Department of Financial Services;
  • The Office of Professional Medical Conduct of the State Department of Health;
  • The Child Protective Services Units of any local departments of social services;
  • The Office of Medicaid Inspector General;
  • The Temporary State Commission of Investigation;
  • The Onondaga County Center for Forensic Sciences Laboratory when acting within the scope of its law enforcement duties;
  • The Division of Forensic Services of the Nassau County Medical Examiner’s Office when acting within the scope of its law enforcement duties;
  • Any agency that issues firearm licenses or gun permits; and
  • Entities and agencies employing peace officers/police officers.
Criminal defense attorney on Long Island

Sealed Vs. Expunged

A criminal record is a publicly available document, accessible to various parties like potential employers and landlords through a basic search. These records endure indefinitely and can create significant challenges in employment, professional licenses, housing, and even voting rights. It’s important to note that criminal records encompass not only convictions but also arrests that didn’t lead to convictions.

Nevertheless, there are situations where these records can be either sealed or expunged. While both processes aim to mitigate the potential consequences of having a criminal record, they differ notably in their effects and availability.

Expungement involves the legal eradication or removal of records or information related to criminal charges from files, computers, and other repositories. With an expunged criminal record, it’s as if the specific crime never took place. Individuals can deny the expunged arrest and conviction even when asked directly, such as on job applications. Expungement can be a potent tool for those striving to overcome past errors, but it’s usually granted only under specific conditions, such as after a certain passage of time without further criminal activity or for minor offenses.

Sealing, however, does not erase the record but renders it inaccessible or hidden in most situations. When a criminal record is sealed, it remains out of sight for the general public, preventing potential employers, landlords, and others from accessing it. Still, certain entities like law enforcement agencies, immigration officials, and other public authorities can continue to view sealed records.

It is important to note that, unlike sealing, expungement is not available in New York. Furthermore, individuals wanting to seal their conviction must submit an application to the criminal court where the conviction occurred. This application should include a sworn statement outlining the reasons for seeking sealing. Despite this process, the prosecutor retains the ability to object to sealing, which might lead to a court hearing. Ultimately, the judge holds the final decision on whether to grant the record sealing or not.

Process Of Sealing Convictions In New York

The detailed steps required to apply for the sealing of your criminal record include the following:

  • Preparing a request to seal criminal records. This step will include preparing all supporting documents such as the certificate of disposition for the conviction, sworn statements of reasons for sealing, and any additional documents that support your case.
  • Sending the complete application along with any supporting documentation to the judge who sentenced you. If the judge in New York is unavailable, it is possible to send it to another judge in the same court you were convicted of. You must submit your request to the court where you were convicted for the more serious offense if you are trying to seal more than one conviction.
  • Sending the completed application along with supporting documentation to your local District Attorney. If the District Attorney objects to your request for sealing, they have 45 days to inform the court.

If you do not meet the above conditions, the sentencing judge may summarily reject your application. A hearing may also be called if the District Attorney objects to your request. In some cases, even if the DA does not object to your request, the judge may still conduct a hearing. The judge will then issue a ruling on the application.

Understanding these complexities and ensuring your rights are protected is crucial, which is why you need an experienced New York criminal defense attorney by your side. Suffolk County criminal attorney Jason Bassett may be able to help you navigate the legal system, allowing you to move forward from your past with renewed hope.

Don’t wait – take control of your future today. Contact us today at (631) 259-6060 to schedule a consultation.

Process Of Sealing Convictions In New York Description
Prepare Request Gather necessary documents, including certificate of disposition, sworn statements, and supporting evidence.
Submit to Sentencing Judge Send the completed application and documents to the judge who sentenced you. If unavailable, submit to another judge in the same court of conviction.
Submit to District Attorney Provide the application and supporting documents to your local District Attorney. They have 45 days to object to the sealing request.

Free Consultation

If you didnt find an answer

Free consultation, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Call Now Button