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I was convicted of attempted arson that was 12 yrs ago can i get it expunged off my record.

West Babylon, NY |
Attorney answers 4


There is no expungement procedure available in New York. However, you can apply for a certificate of relief from civil disabilities. In general, Section 701 provides that a certificate may relieve an eligible offender of any forfeiture or disability, or remove any bar to employment, automatically imposed by law by reason of conviction of the crime or the offense. A conviction for a crime specified in a certificate of relief from disabilities shall not cause automatic forfeiture of any license, permit, employment or franchise, including the right to register for or vote at an election, or automatic forfeiture of any other right or privilege, held by the eligible offender and covered by the certificate. However, a certificate can not overcome automatic forfeiture resulting from convictions for violations of Section 2806 (5) of the Public Health Law or Section 1193(2) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law. A certificate also does not permit the convicted person to retain or be eligible for public office, nor does it void the conviction as if it were a pardon (see Correction law 701 and 706).

If there are any issues concerning your immigration status, it is a different set of remedies.


There are potentially other remedies depending on your age at the time of the offense and whether you were eligible for youthful offender status. My colleague is right however, records may not be expunged in NY state.

As we don't know enough about your case, you should not consider my answer to be legal advice. You would need to consult with an attorney at length and include details about what has occurred in order to adequately assess your criminal exposure.


As indicated above, the Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities is typically the best you can do in NY, although there is a push among criminal defense organizations to try and change the law in NY.

If you have any further questions about the application for a Cert. of Relief, please feel free to contact me at anytime.

Yours truly,

Tom Kenniff


New York does not expunge criminal records. You may consider applying for a certificate of relied from civil disabilities. You can ask the pro se clerk of the court to assist you in providing you with some of the basic forms or I suggest you reach out to an attorney who can assist you with that.