New legislation clarifies criminal procedures to seal petty offenses
ALBANY, N.Y. (WENY) -- With a new criminal procedure amendment in New York, those convicted of petty offenses will have their records sealed by default.
Since 1980, nearly all non-criminal dispositions that appeared on an individual's criminal history report had been sealed. But when the law was amended four years later, local law enforcement began to inconsistently seal petty offense, depending on whether the arrest carried a more serious charge of a crime.
This new law clarifies that inconsistency.
"As we continue to make necessary changes to our justice system, we must correct technicalities in the law that unduly disadvantage New Yorkers," Senator Jamaal Bailey said. "The inconsistency in the statute concerning the sealing of petty offenses needed to be remedied, as it had the potential to unintentionally derail the lives of those who should reasonably expect their records would be sealed."
The sealing applies to the final conviction charge, not the original charge.
The only exceptions are the violations of loitering or operating a motor vehicle while impaired.