Expunging a Conviction in New York
In most cases, New York law only allows arrest records to be sealed if the action was “terminated in favor of the defendant,” meaning you were found not guilty, or the case was dismissed. This effectively erases the record of your arrest.
In almost all other cases, New York does not allow expungement or sealing of records when there has been a conviction.
Convictions for some non-criminal offenses (infractions) may be sealed or expunged. This is generally limited to minor traffic violations.
You are automatically entitled to have these records sealed, unless a demonstration can be made that “the interests of justice” dictate otherwise. It appears, however, that these requests are usually granted as a matter of course.
Once the decision has been made to expunge an arrest record, all physical copies will either be returned to you or destroyed. Some digital copies may be retained by New York courts and law enforcement agencies. A qualified New York defense lawyer can provide you more information if there is a legal basis for your expungement.
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Last Modified: 09-06-2012 12:06 PM PDT
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