How to File for Expungement in New York

By K. Lynn Wallace
File for Expungement in New York

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In New York you can have your records expunged if you have been acquitted of the charges against you, your conviction has been reversed or you have been pardoned. New York generally does not allow for the expungement of convictions. New York Criminal Procedure Section 160.50 permits the "sealing" of cases where charges were dismissed, vacated, not tried or otherwise not pursued by the state. This means the records will not be available to the public, but they the courts and law enforcement can access them. New York Criminal Procedure Section 160.55 allows for the expungement of non-criminal convictions, such as traffic violations.

Contact the clerks office. You will need to gather information regarding your case, including the year in which the charges were filed with the court and the case number. This information is required to file for an expungement. Certain jurisdictions in New York also require that you obtain a copy of your criminal record from the sheriff's department. The clerks office will tell you if this is required in your case.

Complete the forms. Once you have all of the necessary information, complete the form for expungement carefully and completely. An incomplete form will result in a denial of your request.

File the form. File your request with the clerk's office. Once your request is filed, you will have to wait to obtain a decision from the judge.

Contact an attorney. The public defenders office or other agencies may be able to help you obtain an expungement if you find you need help with the process. Contact your local public defenders office or ask the clerks office if they can recommend an agency to help you to obtain an expungment.

Follow up. If after several months you have not received a decision from the court, contact the clerk's office to ensure your expungement request was filed properly and that it is being sent to a judge for ruling.

About the Author

K. Lynn Wallace attended the University of the Arts and University of Baltimore Law school and is now an attorney in Maryland. She has a general litigation practice and has been a writer since 2009. She has served on the editorial board of the "University of Baltimore Intellectual Property Journal."

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