2023Criminal Records

Written By Digital Content Editor Thomas Ahearn

In June 2023, the New York State Legislature passed the “Clean Slate Act” (S.7551-A/A.1029-C) “which would establish the automatic sealing of certain conviction records after a specific period of time for individuals that have completed their sentences and meet certain eligibility requirements,” according to a press release.

The “Clean Slate Act” (S.7551-A/A.1029-C) will be sent to New York Governor Kathy Hochul for her signature. If signed into law by the Governor, the Act will take effect one year later. The Act provides for the automatic sealing of misdemeanor and felony criminal convictions upon meeting the following requirements:

  • For a misdemeanor conviction, at least three years have passed since the individual’s release from incarceration or the imposition of sentence, if there was no sentence of incarceration;
  • For a felony conviction, at least eight years have passed from the date the individual was last released from incarceration;
  • The individual does not have a criminal charge pending; and
  • The individual is not currently under the supervision of any probation or parole department.

“By passing Clean Slate, we affirm our belief in redemption and improve our society by providing formerly incarcerated individuals a better opportunity to enter the workforce and establish stable lives,” New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins stated in the press release about the Act.

Under the “Clean Slate Act” (S.7551-A/A.1029-C), Class A felonies for which a maximum life imprisonment sentence may be imposed and convictions requiring registration as a sex offender are not eligible for sealing. The Act would also allow access to or the release of these sealed records to:

  • Courts and prosecutors during a new criminal case;
  • Law enforcement officers under the scope of an investigation;
  • Any entity that is required under state or federal law to conduct a fingerprint-based background check or an entity authorized to conduct a fingerprint based background check where a job applicant would be working with children, the elderly, or vulnerable adults; and
  • A licensing officer processing a firearm license application.

Additionally, the “Clean Slate Act” (S.7551-A/A.1029-C) will not affect or invalidate any active order of protection, require the destruction of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) submitted to the statewide DNA database as part of a conviction, or require that Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) records be destroyed or sealed.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is a service offering of ClearStar, a leading Human Resources technology company specializing in background checksdrug testing, and occupational health screening. ClearStar offers pre-employment screening that complies with “clean slate” laws. To learn more, contact ClearStar.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a service offering of ClearStar – does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

© 2023 Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – A Service Offering of ClearStar – Making copies of or using any part of the ESR News Blog or ESR website for any purpose other than your own personal use is prohibited unless written authorization is first obtained from ESR.

Share on Social Media