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Is It Possible To Get A Misdemeanor Conviction Expunged In New York State?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. You cannot destroy or expunge an arrest record on permanent file for a finger printable offense in New York State, also known as “rap sheet” at the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), even if you were never found guilty of the charges.

Who Can See Your Rap Sheet?

Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement Agencies, public and private employers (Most employers do not have the right to see your rap sheet. But New York State law does allow some groups of employers to get copies of your rap sheet when they are considering whether to hire you.)

In fact the Office of Court Administration (OCA) of the State of New York expanded their program of making statewide criminal history records available to the general public as long as they have your name, date of birth and payment of $52.00. The search does not require your permission and the application to retrieve your criminal history record can be done online.

Here is a partial list of employers in New York State who are allowed, by law, to send for your rap sheet from DCJS or the FBI:

  • Public employers (federal, state, local government agencies, all law enforcement agencies)
  • Child care agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Museums
  • Home health care agencies
  • Financial institutions, such as banks and brokerage houses
  • Schools and companies hiring school bus drivers and school bus attendants

Although you cannot expunge a misdemeanor in New York State, records about any case that was dismissed or that was otherwise terminated in your favor can be sealed. Records of convictions for most non-criminal offenses or violations can also be sealed. Misdemeanor or felony convictions cannot be sealed.