160.58 Conditional sealing of certain controlled substance, marihuana
or specified offense convictions.
1. A defendant convicted of any offense defined in article two hundred twenty or two hundred twenty-one of the penal law or a specified offense defined in subdivision five of section 410.91 of this chapter who has successfully completed a judicial diversion program under article two hundred sixteen of this chapter, or one of the programs heretofore known as drug treatment alternative to prison or another judicially sanctioned drug treatment program of similar duration, requirements and level of supervision, and has completed the sentence imposed for the offense or offenses, is eligible to have such offense or offenses sealed pursuant to this section.
2. The court that sentenced the defendant to a judicially sanctioned drug treatment program may on its own motion, or on the defendant's motion, order that all official records and papers relating to the arrest, prosecution and conviction which resulted in the defendant's participation in the judicially sanctioned drug treatment program be conditionally sealed. In such case, the court may also conditionally seal the arrest, prosecution and conviction records for no more than three of the defendant's prior eligible misdemeanors, which for purposes of this subdivision shall be limited to misdemeanor offenses defined in article two hundred twenty or two hundred twenty-one of the penal law. The court may only seal the records of the defendant's arrests, prosecutions and convictions when:
(a) the sentencing court has requested and received from the division of criminal justice services or the Federal Bureau of Investigation a fingerprint based criminal history record of the defendant, including any sealed or suppressed information. The division of criminal justice services shall also include a criminal history report, if any, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding any criminal history information that occurred in other jurisdictions. The division is hereby authorized to receive such information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for this purpose. The parties shall be permitted to examine these records;
(b) the defendant or court has identified the misdemeanor conviction or convictions for which relief may be granted;
(c) the court has received documentation that the sentences imposed on the eligible misdemeanor convictions have been completed, or if no such documentation is reasonably available, a sworn affidavit that the sentences imposed on the prior misdemeanors have been completed; and
(d) the court has notified the district attorney of each jurisdiction in which the defendant has been convicted of an offense with respect to which sealing is sought, and the court or courts of record for such offenses, that the court is considering sealing the records of the defendant's eligible misdemeanor convictions. Both the district attorney and the court shall be given a reasonable opportunity, which shall not be less than thirty days, in which to comment and submit materials to aid the court in making such a determination.
3. At the request of the defendant or the district attorney of a county in which the defendant committed a crime that is the subject of the sealing application, the court may conduct a hearing to consider and review any relevant evidence offered by either party that would aid the court in its decision whether to seal the records of the defendant's arrests, prosecutions and convictions. In making such a determination, the court shall consider any relevant factors, including but not limited to: (i) the circumstances and seriousness of the offense or offenses that resulted in the conviction or convictions; (ii) the character of the defendant, including his or her completion of the judicially sanctioned treatment program as described in subdivision one of this section; (iii) the defendant's criminal history; and (iv) the impact of sealing the defendant's records upon his or her rehabilitation and his or her successful and productive reentry and reintegration into society, and on public safety.
4. When a court orders sealing pursuant to this section, all official records and papers relating to the arrests, prosecutions, and convictions, including all duplicates and copies thereof, on file with the division of criminal justice services or any court shall be sealed and not made available to any person or public or private agency; provided, however, the division shall retain any fingerprints, palmprints and photographs, or digital images of the same.
5. When the court orders sealing pursuant to this section, the clerk of such court shall immediately notify the commissioner of the division of criminal justice services, and any court that sentenced the defendant for an offense which has been conditionally sealed, regarding the records that shall be sealed pursuant to this section.
6. Records sealed pursuant to this subdivision shall be made available to:
(a) the defendant or the defendant's designated agent;
(b) qualified agencies, as defined in subdivision nine of section eight hundred thirty-five of the executive law, and federal and state law enforcement agencies, when acting within the scope of their law enforcement duties; or
(c) any state or local officer or agency with responsibility for the issuance of licenses to possess guns, when the person has made application for such a license; or
(d) any prospective employer of a police officer or peace officer as those terms are defined in subdivisions thirty-three and thirty-four of section 1.20 of this chapter, in relation to an application for employment as a police officer or peace officer; provided, however, that every person who is an applicant for the position of police officer or peace officer shall be furnished with a copy of all records obtained under this paragraph and afforded an opportunity to make an explanation thereto.
7. The court shall not seal the defendant's record pursuant to this section while any charged offense is pending.
8. If, subsequent to the sealing of records pursuant to this subdivision, the person who is the subject of such records is arrested for or formally charged with any misdemeanor or felony offense, such records shall be unsealed immediately and remain unsealed; provided, however, that if such new misdemeanor or felony arrest results in a termination in favor of the accused as defined in subdivision three of section 160.50 of this article or by conviction for a non criminal offense as described in section 160.55 of this article, such unsealed records shall be conditionally sealed pursuant to this section.
Last modified: February 3, 2019