New York State Governor Signs “Clean Slate Act” to Seal Certain Criminal Records

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New York State Governor Signs “Clean Slate Act” to Seal Certain Criminal Records

On November 16, 2023, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul signed the “Clean Slate Act” (S.7551A/A.1029C) “which allows certain criminal records to be sealed years after an individual is sentenced or released from incarceration if that individual is not subsequently convicted of an additional criminal act,” according to a press release from the Governor’s website.

“Following their release from any incarceration, records of individuals with eligible misdemeanor convictions will be sealed after three years and those with certain felony convictions, after eight years,” according to the press release about the signing of the bill, which was sponsored by New York State Senator Zellnor Myrie (Democrat-20th Senate District).

“The Clean Slate Act will not seal the records of individuals convicted of sex crimes, murder, or other non-drug Class A felonies; law enforcement, prosecutors, the New York State Education Department, the courts, and other groups will continue to have access to all criminal records under this law,” the press release stated. A video of the event is available here.

“My number one job as the New York State Governor is to keep people safe. And I believe that the best anti-crime tool we have is a job. When people have steady work, they’re less likely to commit crimes and less likely to be homeless. New York also has a labor shortage right now. I have 460,000 jobs that are unfilled today,” Governor Hochul stated in her remarks.

The Clean Slate Act allows individuals to seek employment, housing, and educational opportunities so they can improve their lives. Effective one year from the signing, the law provides the New York State Office of Court Administration up to three years to implement the processes necessary to identify and seal all eligible records, according to a second press release.

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    Thomas Ahearn - Digital Content Editor

    Thomas Ahearn is a Digital Content Editor at ClearStar, a leading Human Resources (HR) technology company specializing in background checks, drug testing, and occupational health screening. He writes about a variety of topics in the background screening industry including Artificial Intelligence (AI), "Ban the Box," class action lawsuits, credit reports, criminal records, drug testing, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Form I-9, identity theft, privacy, social media screening, and workplace violence.

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