Criminal records will soon be sealed in New York under the recently signed Clean Slate Act.

The new piece of legislation, signed by Governor Kathy Hochul, allows certain criminal records to be sealed years after an individual is sentenced or released from prison if they aren't convicted of an additional crime.

Following their release from any incarceration, records of individuals with eligible misdemeanor convictions will be sealed after three years and those with certain felony convictions, after eight years.

Anyone convicted of sex crimes, murder, or other non-drug Class A felonies will not fall under the new Clean Slate Act.

  • Records will not be sealed to law enforcement or the criminal justice system.
  • Records will not be sealed for individuals convicted of sex offenses, murder, domestic terror, and other non-drug Class A felonies.
  • Records will not be sealed until parole or probation is complete and there are no criminal charges in New York State.

Employers permitted by law to perform fingerprint-based criminal history checks on job applicants will continue to receive those records and use them to determine whether individuals should be hired.

Lawmakers & Police Oppose Law

Lawmakers opposed to the legislation are calling it "A win for criminals and a loss for public safety." The NYS Conservative Party released a statement on the Governor's "ill conceived Clean Slate Act.

"Mrs. Hochul and her woke colleagues are systematically working to create a fairy-tale, consequence-free state, where criminals avoid jail time and crimes are forgotten by the state. But what about the consequences to the vicitms? It's hard to imagine a Governor worse on public safety. Every day New Yorkers pay the price."

It isn't just politicians speaking out. The Otesgo County Sheriff's Office is calling it another attack on public safety.

One Year From Today

The Clean Slate Act will take effect on November 16, 2024, one year after it was signed into law. The New York State Office of Court Administration will have up to three years to implement the processes necessary to identify and seal all eligible records.

 

New York joins 12 other states including Utah, South Dakota, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania to sign Clean Slate legislation.

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Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams

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Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams

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