Sealed Records: After 10 Years (CPL 160.59)

If you have no more than two misdemeanor convictions or one felony and one misdemeanor conviction, you may be eligible to have those convictions sealed. You must apply to the court to have your records sealed. If the court approves your application, your criminal convictions can only be seen by qualified agencies and federal, state, and local law enforcement. If you are not a United States citizen, Immigration can still see your sealed convictions.

Sex offenses, violent felonies, and serious felonies are not eligible for sealing.

See instructions #8 for List of Offenses not eligible for sealing.

Read CPL 160.59.

Who is Eligible?

You are eligible if:

  • You have been crime-free for at least 10 years since your conviction and/or release, and
  • You have 2 convictions or less on your criminal record. This means no more than two misdemeanor convictions OR one felony and one misdemeanor conviction.

The ten year period starts from the date of conviction or release from prison, whichever is later.

You cannot have had any new criminal convictions or have a current criminal case pending.

Courts have the discretion to seal up to two convictions, only one of which may be a felony.

If you have more than 2 convictions, you may still be eligible if your convictions are related to the same one or two incidents. For example, if you were charged and convicted of multiple crimes during one incident, the court may decide to treat the multiple convictions as one conviction.

Expunged marijuana convictions do not count toward your total number of convictions. These are treated as if they never happened.

How to Apply

The sealing of these records is not automatic. You need to do paperwork and apply to the court:

  1. Request a Criminal Certificate of Disposition from the court.
    • Complete a separate request for each case you will be asking the court to seal.
    • Bring the completed form to the court. Use the locator box to find the court's contact information
    • There is a fee of $5 for courts located outside of New York City, and a fee of $10 for courts located within the five boroughs of New York City.

  2. After you get your Certificate of Disposition from the court, complete the Sealing Application (this is also known as the Notice of Motion and Affidavit in Support).
    • Sign this form in front of a notary public.
    • Important! You should attach any evidence you have of proof of rehabilitation, like a certificate of relief from civil disabilities, verification of employment, community service, volunteer or charity work; educational transcripts; letters of recommendation or commendation from employers, teachers/professors, community leaders, charitable organizations, certificates of successful completion of a drug or alcohol treatment program, etc. Read more about getting Evidence of Rehabilitation.

  3. The District Attorney must be notified about your application. Make a copy of the Certificate of Disposition, the Sealing Application (Notice of Motion and Affidavit in Support), and any other supporting documents you're including with your application. The copy of the papers can be served on the District Attorney's Office by mail or by hand delivery.
  4. Important! If you're asking the court to seal more than one conviction and the convictions occurred in different counties, then each District Attorney must get a copy of the papers.

  5. After the papers have been mailed or delivered to the District Attorney's Office, the person who mailed or delivered the papers must fill out the Affidavit of Service and sign it in front of a notary public. If more than one District Attorney's Office were served, a separate Affidavit of Service must be completed for each by the person who served them.
  6. Make a copy of all the papers for your own records.

  7. File the originals of the Sealing Application (Notice of Motion and Affidavit in Support), Affidavit of Service, Certificate of Disposition, and any other supporting documents with the court.
    • Important! These papers must be filed in court. Use the court locator to find the court's contact information.
    • There is no fee to file these papers.
    • The papers must be filed in the court where the most serious conviction was entered. If both cases involve convictions of the same class, the motion should be filed in the court where the most recent conviction was entered.

What to Do After Getting a Seal Order

If your sealing application is approved, you will get a court signed Seal Order. To confirm that your NYS Criminal History Record has been sealed, fill out this Request for Seal Verification form and mail it with a copy of the court signed Seal Order to the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (address is on the Request form).

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