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Sealed Records: Good Result (Favorable Disposition CPL ยง160.50)

Criminal records are automatically sealed when the defendant gets a good result (called a favorable disposition) in a criminal case. The court notifies the Department of Criminal Justice System and the Police. All records are sealed, including court records. This means that the record will not be listed on a Criminal Records search. Good results include:

  • Acquittal. This happens when the Judge or jury finds you are not guilty after a trial
  • Dismissal. This happens when the case ends for another reason, but the court did not find you guilty. Possible dismissals include: Dismissal by Grand Jury (no true bill), Dismissal of the Information, and Dismissal in the Interests of Justice (Clayton Motion)
  • Dismissal after adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACD). This happens when a decision is made to put off a trial for a certain amount of time and if you keep out of trouble during that time your case is dismissed. (A Dismissal as Covered is not sealed)
  • Decline Prosecution (Nolle Prosequi). This happens when the Prosecutor decides not to move forward with the case against you
  • Decline to File Accusatory Instrument. This happens when the police decide not to move forward with the case against you
  • Order Setting Aside the Verdict. This is when the Judge changes the verdict after trial and before sentencing
  • Order Vacating a Judgment. This is when the Judge cancels the judgment after you have been sentenced
  • Habeas Appeal

If your RAP sheet from the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) lists cases that should be sealed, you can try to have the mistake corrected. See Criminal Records: Correcting a Mistake.

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