The Clean Slate Act is a bill that would automatically seal the criminal records of many New Yorkers.
Under the terms of the bill:
Sealing records would be automatic, and would help to end the issues that those convicted of crimes face as they attempt to reintegrate into society.
The legislation is S1554C/A6399B. It has passed the state Senate. The sponsor is Senator Zellnor Myrie, who said: “Clean Slate can’t wait. It’s a jobs bill, a housing bill, an education bill, an economy bill. This is a restorative bill. It’s about rehabilitation. It’s about our communities. It’s about investing.”
What are the chances Clean Slate will pass the Assembly? It was shelved until the 2023 session. Advocates are hopeful that the bill will be passed and that the governor will sign off on it at that time. Our blog, will, of course, continue to report on how this bill is doing.
Republicans object to the bill on the grounds that it might “trick” business owners. There have also been some difficulties on negotiation whether the three or seven year wait period should begin.
As of right now it is possible to seal some criminal records in New York. You must meet the following criteria:
Once sealed, records may not be viewed by the public, the police, or by prosecutors. It may be viewed by employers for jobs that involve the use of a firearm, a parole officer if you’re arrested while on parole, or by court order after you’ve been arrested for a new crime.
Minors may have their records sealed once they turn 16 years old, if they were convicted as a Youthful Offender.
Some defendants may also apply for a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities. This doesn’t seal your record, but it does allow you to pursue some professional licensing that might have otherwise been closed to you.
If you’re trying to get your records expunged, or if you’re trying to obtain a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities, you’ll need help from a qualified criminal defense attorney. This is a legal process like any other. Until the Clean Slate Act passes, you can call us.