A common question that is repeatedly asked is whether or not a judge must hold a hearing before granting or denying a sealing motion according to New York Criminal Procedure Law 160.59. In other words, if you want your criminal conviction erased from the public domain can a judge do so without giving the prosecution both an opportunity to respond in a public forum outside of a motion seeking to preclude sealing?
Because I have addressed New York’s criminal conviction sealing statute in great detail throughout this blog and on our website by breaking down the relevant procedures, benefits and eligibility requirements of NY CPL 160.59, I will not do so again here. However, for those with criminal records and convictions in New York beyond ten years old, if you were not aware let this blog serve as notice that as long as you have no more than two total convictions, of only one can be a felony, and those convictions are not sexual or violent crimes, you are potentially able to have your conviction sealed and “removed” from public view. In terms of process, however, beyond filing a motion for sealing, can a judge require more materials and evidence in the form of a hearing before rendering his or her decision?