By Kevin Deutsch
At least 71 people have had criminal convictions sealed in the Bronx thanks to a little-known provision in New York’s “Raise the Age” law — the third highest total statewide since the legislation took effect, according to data obtained by Bronx Justice News.
The statistics, compiled by New York’s Division of Criminal Justice Services, show that 941 people with criminal records have applied for and received seal orders from judges from October 2017 through February 2019. Among New York’s 62 counties, Manhattan had the highest number with 179, followed by Nassau and Suffolk Counties with 124 and 104 successful clearance petitions, respectively.
The law is best known for mandating that 16- and 17-year-old offenders are no longer automatically prosecuted as adults. But the legislation also allows any New Yorker who has remained crime-free for ten years—and has two convictions or fewer on their record—to request certain state convictions be sealed.
Once the court approves a person’s application, their sealed convictions can no longer be seen by potential employers—or anyone else not affiliated with federal, state, or local enforcement, and some qualified government agencies.
The 10-year period starts from the date of conviction or release from prison, whichever is later.
Certain convictions are not eligible to be sealed under the law: sex offenses, homicides, violent felony offenses like robbery, class A felonies, and any conviction for an attempt, or conspiracy to commit, any ineligible felony.
Eligible applicants can petition courts to seal up to two misdeameanor convictions; one misdeameanor and one felony conviction; or one felony conviction.
People with more than two convictions may still be eligible if their convictions are related to the same one or two incidents, authorities said.
More information on the application process can be found here.