The Clean Slate Act (S.7551A/A.1029C), was signed on November 16th by New York State Governor Kathy Hochul.

This act allows certain criminal records to be sealed years after an individual is sentenced or released from incarceration if that individual is not subsequently convicted of an additional criminal act.

Following 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.

Which Crimes Will Not Be Expunged in New York Under the Clean Slate Act?

Governor Hochul's news release notes that records will not be sealed from persons who have been convicted of:

  • Sex crimes
  • Murder
  • 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. The clock restarts altogether if parole or probation is revoked or if there is a new conviction.

All criminal records will still be able to be accessed under the law by law enforcement, prosecutors, the New York State Education Department, courts, and other groups.

The best crime-fighting tool is a good-paying job. That’s why I support giving New Yorkers a clean slate after they’ve paid their debt to society and gone years without an additional offense. I negotiated a compromise that protects public safety and boosts economic opportunity, and the final Clean Slate Law will help New Yorkers access jobs and housing while allowing police, prosecutors, and school officials to protect their communities. As our state faces a worker shortage, with more than 450,000 job openings right now, this new law will help businesses find more workers who will help them grow, expand, and thrive. - New York State Governor Kathy Hochul

New York State becomes the 12th state to enact the Clean Slate Legislation. Persons who have had their record expunged, have been less likely than the general public to commit criminal offenses.

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