Skip to main content
BusinessLatest NewsLocalNYCPolitics

A bill passed by lawmakers will automatically seal old criminal records in New York

By 06/11/2023 6:28 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


A measure was approved by legislators in the state Assembly on Friday that will automatically seal past criminal records for people in New York as long as they stay out of trouble for a specific period of time.

The “clean slate” law would immediately expunge the majority of most recent convictions after eight years for felonies and three years after completing time or receiving parole for misdemeanors.

Sex offenses and the majority of Class A felonies, including murder, are ineligible for sealing.

The law was discussed in the state Assembly for over five hours before being approved on a party-line basis to loud applause.

State legislative leaders predict that the state Senate will follow suit and approve the proposal.

According to certain liberal legislators and unions that favor the legislation, it would provide New Yorkers with a future free from the burden of their past transgressions.

They claim that having a criminal record makes it harder to find stable employment and housing.

Ismael Diaz Jr. from Long Island, who was released from jail seven years ago and is still having trouble finding a stable job, is one example of this.

After three rounds of interviews for a job as a supermarket janitor, Diaz, who spent nearly 10 years in jail for manslaughter, claimed he was told he was “unemployable” due to his criminal history.

Similar legislation has been approved by Michigan and Utah, among other states.

In California, legislation was approved last year that would automatically seal arrest and conviction records for the majority of ex-offenders who have not been convicted of a felony offense for four years.

Business organizations, including well-known corporations like JPMorgan Chase and Verizon, have also backed the New York law.

They claim that expanding the labor pool will strengthen the state’s economy and increase its competitiveness.

Employers are permitted by New York state law to inquire about criminal convictions at any stage of the recruiting procedure, but they are also required to take other considerations into account, such as whether the conviction would affect the applicant’s ability to do the job.

But proponents of the law claim that despite that, those with criminal histories face significant obstacles.

According to a report by the John Jay College research group, Data Collaborative for Justice, about 2.2 million people in New York had criminal convictions.

The analysis is focused on people from New York who were convicted between 1980 and 2021.

However, Republican legislators and victim advocacy organizations have attacked the bill and warned that it will remove criminal responsibility.

Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York stated that she wanted to ensure that the legislation would not have “any negative, unintended consequences” while simultaneously providing people with criminal histories with a second shot.

“There is no easy solution. At a separate event earlier in the week, Hochul told reporters that these are complex topics, far more so than one may initially think.

As governor, “I want to make sure we have policies that are progressive and forward-thinking and that actually work.”

After being enacted into law, the measure would take effect after one year.


By providing your phone number, you will receive text message updates from Yid-Info. You can opt out at any time by responding STOP.

bobby bracros

Author bobby bracros

More posts by bobby bracros

Leave a Reply