Ten Years for a Second Chance? New York’s Sealing Statute Lags Behind Other States

In 2019, 31 states and the District of Columbia enacted laws permitting criminal records to be sealed and, while New York was one of them, the state’s 10-year limitation caused the New York Crim. Proc. Law to remain severely underused. The rule seemed to prioritize simplicity over justice, with 10 years being the longest waiting period of any state to have records sealed. The law is narrow in the number and type of conviction that qualifies for sealing, as well, with any individual with more than two misdemeanors automatically barred from relief. In comparison, the state of Rhode Island allows any person convicted of fewer than six misdemeanors to expunge all of those misdemeanors for five years, with first-time offenders given the option to file a motion for the expungement for all records.


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Post By Ken Shafton (2,372 Posts)