Sealing Two Convictions in Two Different Courts: NY CPL 160.59 Sealing in Multiple Jurisdictions

New York Criminal Procedure Law 160.59 is the mechanism by which a convict (pardon the term), can motion the court of their conviction to have their criminal cases, convictions and record sealed. Explained in greater detail throughout the Sealing and Expungement section of this blog as well as on the New York Sealing Law Information Page at, before your attorney makes a sealing application you must satisfy a litany of factors or elements necessary for consideration. Failure to do so will result in an outright denial and rejection of your sealing motion. Briefly, some of these requirements are that your criminal convictions do not include sex crimes mandating Sex Offender Registration (SORA), violent offenses as defined by law, “Class “A” felonies or more than one felony in a two criminal conviction total allotment. Although there are more factors, this entry will address the final element listed here. What if you have two convictions, a misdemeanor and felony or two misdemeanors, in two different jurisdictions within New York State? Are you required to make to separate applications to both courts? If not, will one court hear both of your motions and which court will do so?

New York CPL 160.59(2)(a) establishes the rule that if your two eligible offenses involve one felony and one misdemeanor, the court where you were convicted will hear your application and accept your motion for the sealing of both criminal cases. Therefore, if you were convicted of an eligible felony in Manhattan, also called New York County, and a misdemeanor either before or after this conviction in Erie County, your lawyer will motion the Manhattan Supreme Court Criminal Term because that is where your higher level offense occurred.

In the event that your convictions involved two misdemeanors of similar classes and degrees, the analysis is somewhat different. Using the same locations as above, New York County and Erie County, the most recent conviction dictates location. Applying this rule, if you were convicted of Third Degree Assault, a class A misdemeanor in Erie County in 2005 and a Petit Larceny, also a class “A” misdemeanor, in Manhattan in 2002, an application for sealing and “expungement” will be filed and served on the prosecutor in Erie County.

There are numerous rules governing how and where to draft and file a sealing motion pursuant to NY CPL 160.59. Your sentencing judge has since retired or passed away? The statute specifically addresses this issue. You currently have a pending criminal case, but one that has not resulted in a conviction? Again, the statute specifically addresses this issue. You have more than two total convictions, but these offenses relate to one criminal transaction or event? Yes, CPL 160.59 has an answer for that as well.

Prepare yourself. Secure a firm understanding of New York’s sealing law. Recognize the difference between expunging, which is not an option, and sealing, as well as the benefits and effects of the latter. The information contained on this blog as well as on Saland Law PC’s New York Sealing Law information page and a consultation with your attorney will best ensure that you and your lawyer draft, file and serve the strongest and most compelling sealing motion to potentially keep your criminal record solely as a part your past and not part of your future.

Saland Law PC is a New York conviction sealing and criminal defense firm established by former Manhattan prosecutors. The New York criminal defense attorneys at Saland Law PC represent individuals in convictions sealing applications pursuant to NY CPL 160.59 throughout the State of New York.

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