Sealed Records: Violations and Traffic Infractions (CPL § 160.55)

All Traffic Infractions and Violations, except for Driving While Ability Impaired (VTL § 1192(1) and Loitering for the Purpose of Engaging in a Prostitution Offense (PL § 240.37), are sealed under CPL §160.55. The court will notify the Department of Criminal Justice System and Police of the sealing. You do not have to do anything. All Department of Criminal Justice System, Police, and Prosecutor records are sealed. But, court files are not sealed. This means that someone can search court records and find out about the conviction. Violations and traffic infractions do not show up on the court system’s records search.

If you were convicted of a violation or traffic infraction before November 1, 1991, you need to ask the court to seal the records. Or, if a record for a violation or traffic infraction after November 1, 1991 was supposed to be sealed but it comes up on your Criminal Record Search, you can ask the court to seal that record. See Criminal Records: Correcting a Mistake.

Read CPL 160.55.

Common Violations and Traffic Infractions that are Sealed

Common Penal Law Violations include:
100.00 - Criminal Solicitation (5th Degree)
140.05 - Trepass
145.30 - Unlawfully Posting Advertisements
215.58 - Failing to Respond to Appearance Ticket
240.20 - Disorderly Conduct
265.06 - Unlawful Possession of a Weapon Upon School Grounds
240.26 - Harassment, (2nd Degree)
240.35 - Loitering
240.40 - Appearance in Public Under Influence of Narcotics or Drug other than Alcohol
245.01 - Exposure of a Person
245.02 - Promoting Exposure of a Person
245.05 - Offensive Exhibition

Common Vehicle and Traffic Law Infractions include:
509 - "Violations" (general infractions)
511-a - Facilitating unlicensed operation (3rd Degree)

Conditional Discharges

If you are convicted of a violation and sentenced to a 1 year conditional discharge, most courts do not seal the violation until the 1 year period is over. Otherwise, your case should be automatically sealed at the end of the 1 year period. If it is not sealed, read Criminal Records: Correcting a Mistake.

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