New York State Governor Kathy Hochul is expected to sign the Clean State Bill into law today which will allow for the automatic sealing of criminal convictions in New York. Misdemeanor convictions will be automatically sealed after three (3) years. Felony convictions will be automatically sealed after eight (8) years. Those time periods begin when the individual is released from incarceration or from the date that the individual was sentenced, if he/she was not sentenced to incarceration. Of course there are exceptions to the automatic sealing provisions. Individuals will not be eligible for sealing if the criminal conviction was for a sexual offense, a class “A” felony, for a crime which imposed a life sentence, or if you have a new pending criminal charge. Even if your conviction is sealed, there remain limited situations in which your conviction and records will be accessible, which includes certain law enforcement functions, employment which requires a fingerprint background check, or when seeking certain licenses such as a pistol permit.
This new law will take effect one year from Governor Hochul signing it into law.