Theft crimes in New York are found in a variety of statutes. Some are clearly designated theft offenses such as either Petit Larceny and Grand Larceny. Similarly, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property and Theft of Services relate directly to a larceny or theft crime. However, there are many other crimes in the New York Penal Law that are not clearly theft offenses. For example, Scheme to Defraud does not have “theft” or “larceny” in the title of the statute, but it too is a theft and larceny crime. With this in mind, it begs the question, if you were convicted of a New York Penal Law Article 155 crime, New York Penal Law Article 165 crime, New York Penal Law Article 140 crime, New York Penal Law Article 160 crime or a even an Article 1800 New York State Tax Crime offense that related only to a theft are larceny are you guaranteed eligibility pursuant to New York Criminal Procedure Law 160.59 to have your criminal conviction “expunged” or sealed assuming you have met the other strict eligibility requirements?
Briefly, eligibility for the sealing or “expungement” of a criminal conviction or record in accordance with New York Crim. Pro. Law 160.59 is limited to the former and not the latter. To be overwhelmingly clear, the term “expungement” is in quotes because New York does not allow this degree of record removal. New York does, however, allow for potential sealing that can, relatively speaking and in an unparalleled way, whitewash your criminal history. Back to the question at hand, are there any theft crimes that are ineligible for sealing or, better stated, are all larceny crimes eligible for sealing?
The short answer, as unappealing as it may be, is maybe. There are no Class “A”, violent felony, sex offense, or Article 125 theft crimes if you solely define these offenses as Grand Larceny, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property and offenses of a similar nature. These crimes may rise to the level of Class “B” felonies, but that is short of a Class “A” offense. Moreover, these crimes are not violent or sexual in nature. Therefore, on its face, each larceny crime as defined here is eligible for sealing keeping in mind that a judge ultimately would have the discretion to make this judgement call assuming you also have no more than two convictions of which one is a felony and no offenses is as recent as ten years.
However, what about crimes such as Robbery or Burglary? These are theft offenses, no? These crimes involve larcenies, right? Robbery always involves a forceful taking and while Third Degree Robbery is not a violent crime as defined by statute nor does it violate eligibility on its face, Second and First Degree Robbery do. Burglary offenses also require this same analysis. Although Burglary does not necessarily require a theft or larceny, it is often associated with “robberies” in homes whether that is an accurate interpretation or not. Regardless, Third Degree Robbery is not a violent crime nor a Class “A” felony. That said, Second and First Degree Robbery qualify as violent offenses and are therefore ineligible for sealing.
Your New York criminal conviction sealing attorney should have the ability and knowledge to determine whether your particular theft and larceny conviction is eligible for sealing pursuant to NY CPL 160.59, but on their respective faces, assuming all other requirements are met, any Grand Larceny or Criminal Possession of Stolen Property conviction in New York can potentially be sealed. Extortion? Yes. Embezzlement? Yes again.
Remember, just because a judge can seal your criminal case and potentially hide it from the public, private employers and many other individuals, groups or agencies seeking to pry into your past, does not mean that your sentencing court will do so. Embezzling $3 million dollars, perpetrating a seven figure tax fraud, or victimizing dozens of people out of “only” $1,000 may not sit well with a judge or prosecutor even if you’re eligible. By no means will the court rubber stamp your application. Eligibility is merely hurdle number one. With the right advocacy and preparation, you can clear each and every one on your way to a new, bright and criminal “free” future.
Take the time to read and learn about New York sealing and expungement statutes, laws, procedures, eligibility and practical benefits. This information and more is available on this blog and the NewYorkCriminalLawyerBlog.Com as well as Saland Law PC’s New York sealing law information page.
Founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors, the New York conviction sealing attorneys at Saland Law PC represent clients in all NY CPL 160.59 motions and applications throughout New York State.