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Reentry Resource Center - New York

Serving People from Arrest to Reintegration

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Folder: Main Menu > Criminal Records > Correcting Errors in Rap Sheets and Record Sealing

There is no "expungement" law in New York State. However, New York law dictates that records of arrests that do not lead to a criminal conviction must be sealed. This includes arrests that terminate in favor of the accused (such as dismissals, declined prosecutions,and not guilty verdicts); convictions for violations, or non-criminal offenses, and Youthful Offender adjudications. Many Family Court (Juvenile Delinquent) convictions can be sealed, and some are sealed automatically.

The Bronx Defenders' "Sealing Criminal Records" handout provides a summary of the sealing statutes in the New York Criminal Procedure Law, and a list of all dispositions that should be sealed. The Legal Action Center manual "How to Get and Clean Up Your New York State Rap Sheet" provides step-by-step instructions for people who want to obtain and review their own criminal history records. It includes specific information for people who are currently incarcerated.

While Certificates of Relief from Disabilities (CRDs) and Certificates of Good Conduct (CGCs) do not seal records, they are valuable tools for overcoming legal barriers to housing and employment. For information about applying for these certificates, visit that folder.

» For extensive additional resources on sealing records in a housing court context, refer to the Use of Sealed Records subfolder of the Housing & Shelter folder on this site.
» Criminal Record Errors & Restoration of Rights - NY Email Group for advocates in New York State helping individuals obtain copies of their rap sheets, review and correct errors, and obtain Certificates of Relief from Disabilities and Certificates of Good Conduct.

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  • Decision and Order to seal violation conviction after client failed to pay imposed fine but was sentenced to and served a jail alternative

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