New York Chief Judge to Propose New Expungement Law

Across the country, more states are starting to consider and introduce expungement laws. Currently, New York has one of the most restrictive expungement and record sealing laws in the country. However, many in New York have been working to get a bill passed that would help former offenders move past their conviction.

RecordGone New York

RecordGone New York

Lippman Introduces New York Expungement Law

Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman is introducing an expungement bill that is greatly needed in New York. Judge Lippman gave his annual address last month and in his speech he indicated that he would begin sealing records of misdemeanors next month, in order to assist these individuals find work and housing. He said he would be submitting a bill to the Legislature that would expunge a misdemeanor conviction after satisfying a seven-year waiting period and would allow judges to expunge a nonviolent felony conviction after ten years. The bill would have exceptions for sex offenses, public corruption and drunken driving.

A Separate Policy to Benefit Former Offenders

In addition to the proposed legislation that he will be submitting, there is also a new policy being implemented by the court system that will benefit former offenders. This new policy affects the sale of criminal history information. For years, the Office of Court Administration (OCA) has performed electronic searches of it criminal cases database to determine whether individuals have a record. Background check companies inquiring about job applicants often request the searches, but others can also request them. Beginning on April 1, the OCA will no longer disclose misdemeanor convictions of individuals who have no other previous convictions and who have not been arrested again within the 10 years of the date of the conviction.

Under current New York law, only a very limited number of cases are eligible to be sealed. For those not eligible for a record sealing, the other option is to apply for a Certificate of Good Conduct or a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities; neither of those certificates remove the case from a former offender’s criminal record, but they can help individuals by adding a positive note to the official record indicating the court has deemed them rehabilitated.

New York has been looking to improve their expungement law in recent years, such as with the introduction of Bills S5385 and A4026 last year, but there has not been much advancement with those bills. Many hope that with Judge Lippman’s support, some progress will be made this year.

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8 Responses to New York Chief Judge to Propose New Expungement Law

  1. Edward M says:

    A real expungement law would be great news for New York. Keep us posted. Judge Lippman is awesome.

    • Jenna Thorne says:

      We completely agree, a good expungement law has been needed in New York for a long time. Hopefully Judge Lippman can make some progress on this in the very near future. We will definitely post any updates to changes in the New York expungement or sealing laws on our website.

      • frank says:

        I believe that after so many years a felony should be exspunged My first felony is 40 years old and it should have been gone a long time ago

  2. Neil B F. says:

    Again Most ALL Sex Offenders not included. Would someone please advise Our Government. Our DAs,Our Judges,Our General Assemblies and Congress that the majority of most sex offenders (serial pedophiles and Sexual Violent Predators NOT INCLUDED)are the most and the majority of any kind and type of criminals least to repeat their criminal act again. That the majority committed their act WITHOUT the use of any force, fear, violence, injury or threats and the majority are committed WITHOUT any kind of intercourse whatsoever, nor any Sodomy, Oral Copulation or use of a foreign object (including the human finger yet they are still made out to be the worst of the worst when the majority of sex acts committed is really nothing more than a one time simple yet sexual touching or feeling. we are not talking rape or adult sexual relations of some child under 10 years of age here But the simple sex offenders still are being put in the same basket as the serial pedophiles and the Sexual Violent
    Until the full and true facts are brought to the attention of the general population and our government lawmakers and judges I guess we will never truly see true and honest and fair and justified changes with regards to the no longer a danger,low end,low level and low threat sex offender being they are still being put in the same basket as the dangerous , and High threat sexual criminal (The pedophile and the Sexual Violent Predators)

  3. Anonymous says:

    What about the prostitutes – who ran away from abusive homes- ended up getting pimped , but who eventually turned their lives around – in EVERY way, and have not been in trouble for anything at all in 30 years?? Do they not get a chance too??

  4. Robert Buckley says:

    I have written several times to various legislators and senators of NYS to no avail urging they consider a bill that would allow sealing of records for 1 time non violent and non sexual misdemeanor offenders after 5 years without recidivism. The reality if one who made one error in their lives are not given a chance to gain employment due to a misdemeanor charge on their record, then at some point in time many will reoffend. It costs the taxpayers money for policing, court utilization, incarceration, etc. To prevent this, allowing a sealing of a record provides these folks with an opportunity to gain gameful employment, pay taxes and be welcomed back into society without the stigmatism of their prior offence.

  5. Rosario says:

    My non violent felony is 20 years old and I still bear the weight of this. I have signed a petition in the past but like all nothing has come out of it, Please advise if updates are available.

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