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District Attorney P. David Soares Details New Opportunities Available to Albany County Residents

Albany County District Attorney David Soares



Building Hope Community Event

  October 3, 2017






ALBANY, NY - District Attorney P. David Soares announced today that Albany County residents with past criminal convictions may be able to seal those convictions under a new statute that takes effect on Saturday. When Albany County Courts open up after the Columbus Day weekend on Tuesday, eligible individuals can submit applications to the Court to seal past criminal convictions. District Attorney Soares has been entertaining these motions for several years now through outdated statutes, but the new statute makes this process much easier for those looking to remove the stigma of their past offenses.

“The stigma of a past criminal conviction should never hold an individual back from achieving their personal and professional goals,” commented DA Soares. “For several years we have been expunging criminal convictions for non-violent and low-level offenders who have shown positive rehabilitation with the cooperation of our local defense bar and Albany County Judges. I am very pleased that our legislators have now passed a law that expands the capabilities of the court system to process more of these applications to bring relief to those looking to move beyond their past transgressions. I look forward to working with the residents of Albany County to help eligible individuals through the sealing process.”

Under §160.59 of the Criminal Procedure Law, an individual may be eligible to seal past criminal convictions. With a sealed record, potential employers and others cannot access them, which in turn can provide more opportunities in the workforce. Sealed records would still remain available to law enforcement, but unavailable to the public. In order to be eligible for sealing, certain criteria must be met. The criteria to be met include, but are not limited to: the type of crime, the amount of time since the last offense, how many times an individual has been convicted, and whether any current charges exist.

Under the new provisions, an eligible offense includes most crimes defined in the laws of New York other than a sex offense, a Class A felony offense, a violent felony offense, a homicide, or conspiracy or attempt to commit any of the above crimes. To be eligible, at least ten years must have passed since both sentencing and release from incarceration. The applicant may not have been convicted of two felonies or more than two crimes. Also, the applicant may not have been convicted of any crimes since the date of the last crime they wish to seal. Additionally, the applicant may not have reached the maximum number of sealings under the Rockefeller Drug Law Reform Sealing Statute (CPL 160.58). Finally, the applicant may not have any current charges pending.

Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria may be able to seal up to two past criminal transactions, including up to one felony criminal transaction. Due to the complexities of this statute, we advise interested individuals to visit our website to learn more and consult a qualified attorney to facilitate the process.

While this provision may open many doors, the path to sealing can be difficult without support. At this time we ask for community members and agencies to join us in our mission. We support those with the desire to seal their past criminal convictions. We are here to assist with determining eligibility, further understanding the provision, and directing individuals to obtain the assistance they need.

Those interested in learning more about this opportunity can do so by clicking on the "Clean Slate" icon on and clicking on “Redemption”.

For more information please contact the Albany County District Attorney’s Office at [email protected]