Sealing a Criminal Conviction

In 2017, New York enacted legislation to help New Yorkers with old criminal convictions seal their records. We're working hard to get the word out and to help those with eligible cases get their criminal convictions sealed.

What does sealing your case do?

The new law allows for “civilly” sealing your record only. Civil sealing means that members of the public will not be able to access your criminal record, including for background checks conducted during lease, loan, and job applications.

Are you eligible for sealing under this law?

You may be eligible if you meet these criteria:

  1. At least 10 years have passed since you were sentenced. If you were sentenced to a jail or prison sentence, it must be at least 10 years since you were released from incarceration.
  2. You have two or fewer criminal convictions, total. Only one of those convictions may be a felony.
  3. You have no open cases.

Under this law, certain convictions are NOT eligible to be sealed including:

  • Any sex offense (Penal Law Article 130)
  • Sexual Performance By a Child (Penal Law Article 263)
  • Any offense requiring registration as a sex offender (Correction Law Article 6-C)
  • Any “Class A” felony offense (e.g. Murder in the First and Second Degrees, Operating as a Major Trafficker, etc.)
  • Any “Violent Felony Offense” (Penal Law § 70.02 – e.g. Assault in the Second Degree, Robbery in the Second Degree, etc.)
  • Any homicide (Penal Law Article 125 – e.g. Manslaughter, Vehicular Manslaughter, etc.)
  • Any felony Conspiracy, where the underlying offense is an ineligible offense (Penal Law Article 105)
  • Any “Attempted” felony, where the underlying offense is an ineligible offense

What if I need more information about my case?

You will need a “Criminal Certificate of Disposition” for the case you’re applying to seal. You can apply to receive the certificate using this form, or learn more about reviewing your statewide criminal record here.

Where can I get legal advice on this? 

How do I apply to have my case sealed?

Forms and specific instructions for sealing your case (in any New York State court) can be found here.

If you’re applying to seal a Manhattan conviction, mail your application to: 

Manhattan District Attorney’s Office
Attn: Motion Unit
1 Hogan Place
New York, NY 10013

(And also mail a copy to the court that handled your case.)