Finally, You Can Seal Your Criminal Record!!

Relief is Finally Available to New York Residents!

FeLONY & Misdemeanor Convictions


Under the new § 160.59 of New York’s Criminal Procedure Law, courts CAN seal up to two convictions (only one of which may be a felony). This law APPLIES TO all crimes other than sex offenses, class A and violent felonies. There is a 10-year period runs from LATER OF the date of conviction or release from prison. Sealed Criminal Record(s) will remain available to law enforcement & some licensing agencies but will be unavailable to the public. 

Those who have convictions that are not eligible to be sealed under New York law can often apply for a Certificate of Relief From Civil Disabilities, which can help eliminate many barriers that people face when they have a conviction. This type of relief can help with barriers to employment, housing, and many other issues faced by people that have been convicted of a crime.


Eligible Convictions

Up to Two Convictions

Only one of which can be a Felony. Convictions must be over ten years old. You can not seal violent or Class A Felony Convictions nor can you seal Sex Offense Convictions.

Non-Violent Felony Conviction

You Can Seal One Non-Violent Felony.

Non-Violent Misdemeanor Conviction

You Can Seal up two Two Non-Violent Misdemeanor Convictions.

Our Lawyers Can Help You!

Oeser-Sweat, P.C.
Can Help You Apply To Seal Your
New York State Criminal Record

Start Your New Beginning!


Jamel Oeser-Sweat, Esq.

For almost two decades, Jamel Oeser-Sweat has helped thousands of people navigate the legal system. He has been involved in many high profile cases which have been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, TMZ, The New York Daily News, The New York Post, The Associated Press & other media outlets.

He has created legal information resources that have helped over two hundred thousand people get information they need about their legal matters. According to Google Analytics, his criminal resource websites have been used by almost half a million unique users and have been viewed almost three million times. 

Oeser-Sweat was named a Rising Star by the New York Law Journal and authored DNA: Forensic & Legal Applications. He has represented clients in criminal cases for over 15 years.

He has fought to get clients the right to start over despite having had contact with the criminal justice system. His work with clients has helped to get their records sealed and in other cases, to get Certificate’s of Relief from Civil Disabilities for clients who were not eligible to have their records sealed. 

His clients have successfully used Certificates of Relief to further their businesses and careers. Some have subsequently gotten liquor licenses and others have used them to further successful applications for United States Citizenship.

Non-Violent Felony Conviction

If you have a New York Non-Violent Felony Conviction that is over ten years old, you may be eligible to have it sealed!

Non-Violent Misdemeanor Conviction

If you have a New York Non-Violent Misdemeanor Conviction that is over ten years old, you may be eligible to have it sealed!

Violent Felony Conviction

Violent Felony Convictions are not eligible for Sealing at this time. Our Firm can help with an application for a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities.

Violent Misdemeanor Conviction

Violent Misdemeanor Convictions are not eligible for Sealing at this time. Our Firm can help with an application for a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most frequent questions and answers

Does New York Allow Records To Be Expunged?

No. Generally, you can not have your criminal record expunged in New York State. You can get such records sealed in certain cases. You can have up to two convictions can be sealed (but no more than one felony). Sealing is the remedy currently available to New York Residents at this time, not expungement.


What is the difference between expunging a criminal record and sealing a criminal record??

There is a big difference between expungement & the sealing of a criminal record, Expunge means to destroy, erase or delete. If a record was Expunged, it would mean that the record went away. To seal a criminal record in this context means to conceal or hide the record. It is put it away so that it can not be viewed. 

This is no different than being sealed in a place and concealed rather than destroyed. This distinction is important in understanding what happens when a criminal record is sealed in NY. As mentioned above, there are instances when the record would still be available to government officials and potentially in some other limited cases.

What types of convictions cannot be sealed in NY?

Generally, sex offenses, Class A Felony Convictions & Violent Felony Convictions can not be sealed in NY. It may be possible to apply for a Certificate of Relief From Civil Disabilities in connection with these Convictions.

How long does it take to have a criminal record sealed in NY?

There is no correct answer. However, because the District Attorney in the County of conviction has 45 days to file an objection, it is generally safe to say that it takes at least 46 days. If there is an objection or the Court orders a hearing, the process could take longer. We have seen applications take approximately 3-6 months before a Judge issues relief.

How Can I Seal My Criminal Record?

ITo seal your New York Criminal Record, you have to make an application to the court that sentenced you. We can help you apply to seal your criminal record. We have been successful at preparing applications for sealing which have been approved by Judges. We have appeared with clients at hearings.

What Is required in order to apply to seal my record?

In order to seal your criminal record, you must provide the court with certain information regarding your conviction. You must serve the District Attorney and let each office know that you are making the application. We try, where possible, to include information that shows why someone’s application should be approved. Telling your story to the court is important. It may also help lessen the chance that your application to have your criminal conviction sealed will be contested. 

Can I apply to have my DWI or DUI Conviction Sealed?

IYes, in many cases, you can apply to have your New York DWI Conviction Sealed. In circumstances in which there was damage to property or injury to a person, the District Attorney may oppose your application to have your criminal record sealed.

I was convicted of a Weapons Charge, can I have my criminal record sealed?

Certain “weapons” charges are not defined as violent crimes in New York. This may include Criminal Possession of a weapon in the Fourth Degree and possession of a gravity knife. 

I was convicted of Possession of a Controlled Substance, can I apply to have my Criminal Record Sealed?

Drug cases, including criminal possession of a controlled substance, are eligible for sealing.

Is Every misdemeanor eligible for sealing?

No. Non-violent misdemeanors are eligible for sealing. Any conviction that is considered violent or involves sexual assault is not eligible for sealing. 

What if I am not eligible to have my Criminal record sealed?

IA criminal record can only be sealed in New York if certain criterion are met. If you have been convicted of an A Felony, of a Sexual Offense, or a violent offense, you will not be eligible to apply to have your criminal record sealed. 

However, all hope is not lost. While you can not have your record sealed, you may be able to apply for a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities. Prior to the enactment of the Sealing Law, this was the remedy available in New York to those convicted of a crime. It is still available.

What a Certificate of Relief From Civil Disabilities?

A Certificate of Relief From Civil Disabilities is issued by a Court in order to relieve someone convicted of a crime from the collateral consequences of that conviction. Collateral Consequences are the things that you are subject to after getting convicted, like being barred from jobs and housing. With a certificate of relief from civil disabilities, one can still apply for jobs, obtain licenses, or live in Public Housing whereas they might not have been able to do so because of their conviction.

Who is eligible for a Certificate of Relief From Civil Disabilities?

Under the law, you can have been convicted of an unlimited number of misdemeanors or violations and still get a certificate of relief. However, you can not get one if you were convicted of more than one felony. There is an exception to that rule in that if two felony convictions occurred at the same time, one may still be eligible (in the same court on the same day).

What Is required in order to apply for a Certificate of Relief From Civil Disabilities?

One must apply for a certificate of relief from civil disabilities either at sentencing or at some time after being sentenced, but not while in State prison. One must apply to the court and request the certificate. We have successfully petitioned courts for Certificates of Relief for Clients, who have gone on to get jobs, liquor licenses, and even United States Citizenship.

Why do you have people's names in quotations?

Many firms and entities are working with people to get their criminal records sealed. The whole point of getting someone’s record sealed is to give them a fresh start and for them not to disclose that they have a criminal record. For that reason, we have chosen not to disclose identifying information or images in connection with our clients, even if they would like to give us a reference or a testimonial. It just feels wrong.

Do I need an attorney?

The Court system has provided resources for those who seek to get more information or proceed without an attorney. Ultimately, only you can decide how to proceed and whether you need legal representation in connection with your application. Factors to consider include the facts and nature of the underlying conviction and whether or not there may be resistance to your application.

Client Reviews

What Do Our Clients Have To Say?

Being a resident alien convicted of a Felony was difficult. For the past 14 years, I have been unable to travel because of the risk of inadmissibility and/or deportation. Many years ago, you worked EXTREMELY hard to get me a certificate of relief for my felony conviction. That certificate proved to be so valuable when I took the risk to submit my citizenship application.
After a lengthy (and scary) process that involved a boatload of research and a dedicated legal team, I finally got my citizenship application approved. I took my oath ceremony last week and am able to get on with my life and put things behind me. I wanted to say thank you for all of your hard work and great advice back then. You were able to help forge a path for where I am today and I will never forget all you did for me!
Obtained Certificate of Relief after being convicted of a felony.
I had already changed my life after having contact with the criminal justice system. However, I was always embarrassed about having a criminal record. I would apply for jobs and things would be going well, but once they found out about my conviction, they would politely tell me it was a tough decision but that they found someone more qualified. I became an Entrepreneur as a result. When I got my record sealed, it was like a weight lifted off my shoulder. I feel like I have a fresh start.
Restaurant Owner

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