What is the new sealing law?

Starting October 2017, people convicted of no more than two crimes (only one felony) may apply to have eligible NY convictions sealed if at least 10 years have passed since sentencing or release from jail or prison.

What is the new sealing law?

The new sealing law, passed as part of Raise the Age legislation, allows people who were convicted of up to two crimes to apply to have their convictions sealed.

What convictions can be sealed?

All convictions EXCEPT

  • Sex offenses
  • Homicides
  • Violent felony offenses
  • Class A felonies
  • Conspiracy to commit an excluded offense
  • Attempt to commit an excluded offense, if the attempt was a felony

How long do I have to wait since my last conviction?

10 years. The clock starts when you were sentenced or released from prison or jail.

Is sealing automatic?

No. You have to apply at the court where you were sentenced for your most serious case.

How will the judge decide whether to seal my case?

Under the law, the judge must consider several things, including:

  • How long it’s been since your conviction
  • Positive things you have done including school, work, and community service
  • The circumstances and seriousness of your convictions
  • The impact of sealing on your successful reentry and on public safety
  • Any other things the judge things are relevant

If my cases are sealed, who will be able to see them?

  • Employers will NOT see sealed records, unless you are applying for a job as a police or peace officer.
  • Law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and judges will seem them if you have a new criminal case.
  • They will also come up if you apply for a gun license.

When does the law go into effect?

October 7, 2017

Where can I get more information and help?

There are other requirements too, so please call one of these groups for more information:

Brooklyn Defender Services: (718) 254-0700

The Bronx Defenders: (718) 508-3439

Center for Community Alternatives (Syracuse): (315) 422-5638

Community Service Society Next Door Project: (212) 614-5441

Legal Action Center: (212) 243-1313

Legal Aid Society of New York City, Case Closed Project: (888) 663-6880 * or email CaseClosed@Legal-Aid.org

The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York: (518) 462-6765

Legal Services of Central New York: (877) 777-6152

Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem: (212) 876-5500

Youth Represent (if you were arrested when you were under 25): (646) 759-8080

The Raise the Age NY Coalition includes organizations from across New York, including formerly-incarcerated youth and their families, child advocates, service providers, faith leaders, legal services groups, and unions. Together, we helped pass the Raise the Age law to end the practice of automatically charging all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. Today, we stand with allies from across the state who are moving youth justice forward.