Sealing of Juvenile Records in New York
The process for sealing a juvenile record rests on how you were classified by the court.
There are three classifications:
- Juvenile Delinquents: For a juvenile between the ages of 7 and 16 who is charged with a crime that would be a crime for an adult, a judge in the Family Court will decide whether to find that person a juvenile delinquent (JD). A JD adjudication should be automatically sealed but is still available to the criminal justice system (i.e., police and prosecutors).
If your JD record failed to be sealed, to clear your JD status from the criminal justice system, file a Sealing Motion in the Family Court where your case was heard (NY Family Ct. Act §375.2(1), (6)). There are no filing fees.
Juveniles age 16 or over may request the sealing of JD adjudication records not involving "designated felonies", such as first degree murder, arson, kidnapping and certain sexual abuse offenses (NY Family Ct. Act §301.2.). A JD record is sealed by filing a Notice of Motion and Affidavit with the courts within the specified time frame. The Court may seal the record if it is in "the interests of justice". If the court does not seal your record, you can file again in 1 year.
You can check your criminal record in approximately 12 weeks.
- Youthful Offenders: If you are 16- 16, 17 or 18 and convicted of a crime as an adult, , the judge might treat you as a youthful offender (YO). A YO record is not a criminal conviction, is automatically sealed, and cannot be seen by anyone with a few exceptions (i.e., the criminal justice system, the public or private elementary or secondary school in which the youth is enrolled, and the statewide registry for orders of protection (CPL §720.35).
A YO offense is heard in Criminal court, not Family Court. If your YO record was not sealed and still appears on your criminal record, your sealing motion will need to be filed using the same procedures outlined for sealing adult criminal records, "The Application Process".
- Juvenile Offenders: For certain felonies (which are determined on a case-by-case basis) a person 13, 14, or 15 years of age may be tried as a juvenile offender (JO). These felonies simply cannot be sealed and will be a matter of public record.
For more information on sealing of your criminal records in New York, click on the following articles: