2024 How to Get a DUI Expunged in New York?

Living with a DUI charge can feel like a life sentence imposed by the court. It may have been a drunken mistake, but it can negatively impact your life for the entire time it is on your record. Fortunately, a DUI conviction may not be a life-long sentence. You may be wondering how to get a DUI expunged in New York. There is a chance a DUI can be removed from or hidden on your record. Consult with an experienced DUI attorney to learn what your options are for erasing your DUI.

Sealing Your Criminal Records

Regrettably, New York state law does not allow anyone with a DUI conviction to expunge said conviction from their record. The only way for the charge to completely vanish is if the case is dismissed or you are acquitted of the initial charge. Once you have been found guilty, the conviction remains on your record. New York enforces very strict DUI laws, and the DUI will remain on your record for at least 15 years.

Despite not having any avenue for expungement of the conviction, there is another option in special cases. If you meet certain criteria, you can try to have the court seal your criminal conviction away. Once your conviction is sealed, it does not go away completely, but it is much harder to find.

Sealing your conviction means that the record still exists, but it is no longer accessible to the general public. Nobody can just go and find your criminal conviction. It will not be seen on your criminal record or your RAP sheet. It can only be seen by a select few:

  • Anyone you give explicit permission to.
  • Employers, but only if you apply for a job in law enforcement.
  • Government agencies when you apply for a firearm license.
  • Government agencies carrying out immigration or probation-related court duties.
  • The FBI, when running a background check related to firearm purchases.

Determining Eligibility

You can only apply to seal your criminal conviction if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • No more than two criminal convictions in your lifetime. If you have more than two, you may still be eligible if your convictions are all related to the same incident.
  • You have had no more than one felony conviction in your lifetime.
  • It has been at least ten years since your last conviction or since you were imprisoned. Any time spent on probation counts towards these ten years, but any jail time does not.

You are automatically ineligible for having your record sealed if any of the following applies to you:

  • You are a registered sex offender or are required to register.
  • You currently have an open criminal case.
  • You are trying to apply to seal a violent felony or another ineligible offense.
  • The conviction you are trying to seal is out of state or federal.
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen, the conviction will not be sealed for immigration purposes.

Sealing a record is not automatic and there is no guarantee that your application will be approved. It is an option you can take to have your DUI conviction somewhat buried to help you get your life back on track. You will have to appear before a judge to convince them that you deserve a chance to have your conviction sealed.


Q: How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Criminal Record in New York?

A: A DUI stays on your criminal record in New York for at least 15 years. However, if after ten years, you have had no other convictions, you can apply to have your DUI conviction sealed from public record. You cannot get it expunged under New York state law, but if you meet certain criteria, you can have it sealed. Even after sealing, the DUI will stay on your driving record permanently.

Q: Does a DUI Show Up on a Background Check in New York?

A: In most cases, a DUI will show up on a background check in New York. A person’s driving record is a separate entity from their criminal record. It will always show up there. A DUI conviction could indicate that someone is unreliable or even dangerous. It may not be true, but it could be perceived as such by potential employers or landlords. Applying to have the conviction sealed increases your chances of making the DUI conviction harder to find.

Q: Can You Expunge Your Driving Record in New York?

A: No, you cannot expunge your driving record in New York. New York does not allow for any criminal convictions to be expunged from someone’s criminal record. The only option is to have the conviction sealed by the court, which is not a guarantee. The DMV may have different rules regarding expunging driving records, but those rules may differ from state to state. In New York, you may be able to clean some points from your license with state-approved driving courses.

Q: How Long Do You Have to Wait to Get Your Record Expunged in New York?

A: You cannot have your record expunged in New York, but you can have it sealed if your conviction meets certain criteria. To start, you can only be eligible ten years after the conviction was given. Sealing away a criminal conviction only makes it look like it is gone. It is still there, but the general public, potential employers, and others will have a harder time finding it. New York does not allow criminal convictions to be completely wiped out.

Reach Out to a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

The process of getting your criminal conviction possibly sealed away by the court is not easy and it requires a lot of steps to be done correctly. Engaging the services of an experienced criminal lawyer is a good way to learn to understand the process and make sure you do not miss any of the essential steps.

Getting your DUI conviction sealed could be beneficial to your future. It could help you find steady employment and a stable living situation. The legal team at Greco Neyland, PC, can help you figure out your next steps and understand what you need to do. Contact us to schedule a consultation as soon as you can.

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About The Author

Jeffery Greco

Jeffery Greco is an attorney providing legal services covering Criminal Defense and Criminal Defense: White Collar and Criminal Defense: DUI / DWI. Jeffery Greco, who practices law in New York, New York, was selected to Super Lawyers for 2020 - 2023. This peer designation is awarded only to a select number of accomplished attorneys in each state. The Super Lawyers selection process takes into account peer recognition, professional achievement in legal practice, and other cogent factors. Prior to becoming an attorney, he studied at South Texas College of Law Houston. He graduated in 2004. After passing the bar exam, he was admitted to legal practice in 2005.

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