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Below is a general overview of when juvenile records can be sealed or expunged in New York. Please note that the Clean Slate Clearinghouse does not provide legal advice.

Read the legal policies and statutes for detailed statutory information.

Juvenile Record Clearance Policies Overview

Most juvenile records can be sealed.

  • If your charges were dismissed—you were not adjudicated (not found guilty)—on or after April 14, 2010, your record can be sealed when the case is dismissed. It is up to the judge whether or not to seal your record.
  • If your charges were dismissed—you were not adjudicated (not found guilty)—before April 14, 2010, your record can be sealed at any time. You have to submit a request to the court to start the process, and it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your request.
  • Until October 1, 2018, if you were adjudicated (found guilty), your record can be sealed after you turn 16. You have to submit a request to the court to start the process, and it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your request.
  • From October 1, 2018, through September 30, 2019, if you were adjudicated (found guilty), your record can be sealed after you turn 17. You have to submit a request to the court to start the process, and it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your request.
  • As of October 1, 2019, if you were adjudicated (found guilty), your record can be sealed after you turn 18. You have to submit a request to the court to start the process, and it is up to the judge whether or not to grant your request.

You can also submit a request to the court at any time to expunge your juvenile record, but it is up to the court whether or not to grant your request.

You may not be eligible for sealing if you have certain felony convictions or adjudications on your record.

Find a Lawyer

If you think you might be eligible to clear have your record sealed or expunged, find a lawyer who may be able to help you. Some lawyers might help you for free, although you may still need to pay a fee to file the paperwork in court.

Court Forms and Resources

If you cannot find a lawyer to help you, you may be able to file a petition on your own using these court forms and resources.

Records of a criminal proceeding resulting in a conviction for a traffic infraction or a violation can be sealed by the court. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 160.55. (Cannot link directly to statutes.)

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Records of one or two eligible convictions, only one of which may be a felony, can be sealed by the court 10 years after conviction or release from incarceration, if applicable. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 160.59. (Cannot link directly to statutes.)

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Records of convictions for prostitution and related offenses can be vacated by the court if the petitioner's participation in the offense was a result of having been a victim of human trafficking or compelling prostitution. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 440.10(1)(i).
(Cannot link directly to statutes.)

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Records relating to convictions for marijuana possession under sections 221.05 and 221.10 are vacated and expunged immediately. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 160.50(5).

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Records relating to specified controlled substance convictions can be conditionally sealed by the court upon the successful completion of drug treatment. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 160.58.
(Cannot link directly to statutes.)

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Records of the court proceeding are sealed, and records of the arrest are destroyed or returned when no charges are filed or a case terminates in the person's favor. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 160.50. (Cannot link directly to statutes.)

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Records of an arrest resulting in a waiver of a hearing pursuant to section 1192(10)(c) of the vehicle and traffic law or section 49-b of the navigation law will be sealed when the person reaches the age of 21 or three years from the date of the offense, whichever is the greater period of time. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 160.55(5)(a). (Cannot link directly to statutes.)

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Records of an arrest for violations of section 1192-a or 1194-a of the vehicle and traffic law or section 49-b of the navigation law that are resolved in favor of a defendant who is under the age of 21 will be sealed no later than three years from the date of the offense or when the person reaches the age of 21, whichever is the greater period of time. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 160.55(5)(b). (Cannot link directly to statutes.)

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A record relating to a juvenile delinquency matter can be expunged at the discretion of the court. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 375.3. (Cannot link directly to statutes.)

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Records relating to a delinquency proceeding terminated in favor of the respondent will be sealed immediately unless the court determines that the interests of justice require otherwise. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 375.1(1). (Cannot link directly to statutes.)

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Records relating to a delinquency proceeding terminated in favor of the respondent before April 14, 2010, will be sealed upon petition unless the court determines that the interests of justice require otherwise. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 375.1(6). (Cannot link directly to statutes.)

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Records relating to an action that has resulted in a finding of delinquency can be sealed upon petition, so long as the person is at least 17 years old, the court finds it is in the interests of justice, and the person is not subject to a disqualifying event. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 375.2(6). (Effective Oct. 1, 2018, to Oct. 1, 2019)
(Cannot link directly to statutes.)

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