Can I have my felony conviction sealed in New York? Will New York expunge a felony regardless of the arrest charge? Do criminal records – misdemeanor or felony – remain open to the public forever? What if I am convicted of a non-violent theft crime? Is there a way to screen or hide this record or conviction? More specifically, what if I stole or embezzled $7,500.00, $75,000.00 or even $750,000.00 from an employer? Now that you have asked the questions, the answer to these inquiries are all found in New York Criminal Procedure Law 160.59.
NY CPL 160.59, New York’s sealing statute, does not provide for expunging or expungement of criminal convictions, but allows people with certain eligible criminal convictions to have those cases sealed on and from their records. Subject to many relevant factors and mandatory requirements that can be vetted with your New York expungment or sealing attorney, Grand Larceny, New York Penal Law sections 155.30, 155.35, 155.40 and 155.42, is a statutorily eligible offense.
Without addressing each and every subsection of New York’s sealing law as codified in Crim. Pro. Law 160.59, to be even considered an eligible offense, the crime for which you are convicted cannot be a legally defined violent offense, a Class “A” felony, or a crime involving a sex offense. Therefore, on its face, if you were convicted of First, Second, Third or Fourth Degree Grand Larceny, your criminal record is of the general type that courts will consider for sealing. Another crucial and necessary element is the fact that your conviction cannot be recent nor can you have a pending criminal charge. CPL 160.59 has a minimum ten year “look back” period. Since you either were released from prison or custody, if applicable, or your conviction on Grand Larceny, or any eligible offense, ten years must have transpired.
Keep in mind that it is one thing to have an eligible conviction for the purpose of sealing, but eligibility and availability does not mean automatic granting. Why? Your sentencing court, County or Supreme Court Criminal Division, reserves the right at the judge’s discretion to grant or deny your application for sealing. Not only does your old judge or another judge sitting in his or her place or jurisdiction determine whether to seal your case, but the law requires that both the District Attorney and the victim of your Embezzlement Grand Larceny have an opportunity to be heard and challenge your motion. What this means is that upon reviewing all of the materials that your attorney files and serves from the certificate of disposition and “story” of your arrest and conviction to the reasons why your judge should seal your case and the impact on society of such a sealing, the judge must hold a hearing. Even if there is no objection or a victim does not wish to be heard, a judge still maintains the ability and authority to have a sealing hearing.
It should be abundantly clear that while sealing is not expungement, the magnitude and benefit of your New York Grand Larceny case sealing is undeniable. New York Executive Law has been modified to prevent most public and private employers not only from making an inquiry or asking questions about a criminal conviction that is now successfully sealed, but requiring that you share any information about the same. Even better, the law in New York prevents an employer from holding this sealed case against you.
Again, sealing is not expungement where your case is completely erased. The NYPD, local police departments and the District Attorney, among some other governmental and licensing agencies such as those involving firearms, may be able to see and access the conviction. A “silver bullet” it is not. However, doors that have been closed, are now potentially open. Roads to careers that have been blocked are potentially cleared. A life you never knew was available is now potentially at your fingertips.
To learn more about how a felony such as Grand Larceny Embezzlement can be “expunged” and sealed in New York, take the time to review the entries here and follow the link to Saland Law PC’s New York Sealing Law Information Page where you will find a more detailed review of CPL 160.59 and other relevant blog entries.
Founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors, the New York criminal defense lawyers at Saland Law PC represent clients in all criminal record and criminal conviction sealing applications and motions throughout the entire State of New York.