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New York Criminal Records

New York Criminal Records, sometimes known as rap sheets, include a complete record of a person's criminal background in the state. A criminal record in New York will consist of information on offenses on the municipal, state, and maybe federal levels.

These documents are mainly gathered from several state authorities, including trial and appellate courts, law enforcement organizations, and municipal and state-run penitentiary facilities.

Private companies and government agencies may use criminal records in New York. If you request a job, a loan, or a rental property from a private company, they may ask about your criminal history.

When you register to vote, buy a gun, apply for a passport or visa, or enlist in the military, government organizations could also want to see your criminal history. Of course, if they're conducting a criminal investigation, police enforcement may utilize your criminal record.

If someone has a criminal record in New York, the following will be in their criminal history report:

  • Personal information like name, birth date, gender, and nationality or ethnicity
  • Unique physical descriptors like a tattoo
  • Mugshots
  • A complete set of fingerprints
  • Case number
  • Type or severity of the offense (felony, misdemeanor, etc.)
  • Arrest information
  • Charges
  • Disposition and its date
  • Sentence information

In New York, can anybody see a person's criminal history? The state Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) empowers the general public to see all criminal records.

What Are the Types of Crimes in New York?

A person commits a crime if they act against the New York State Penal Code. Criminal charges in New York might fall into one of three types below:


According to the legal code, felonies are all considered offenses of "high severity" and are punishable by death or imprisonment exceeding one year.

In New York, there are many distinct categories of felonies, and each type has its own set of standards to establish if a crime qualifies and what punishment is appropriate.

Here are the categories of felonies in New York:

Class A Felonies

Class A felonies in New York are the worst kind of felony, and it is for offenses like treason and murder. Crimes under this group carry a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Class B Felonies

Homicide, rape, drug trafficking, armed robbery, and violent assault fall within the definition of a Class B felony in New York Criminal Records since they are one level below murder. Class B felonies can ground you in prison for up to 25 years.

Class C Felonies

This group is a less serious felony charge that includes various forms of violence, fraud, larceny, theft, and even the trafficking of illegal drugs. High fines and ten years in prison are possible penalties for a Class C felony in New York.

Class D Felonies

A Class D felony is one level below a Class C, and offenses under this category are acts of a severe character but without the same malice that the law tends to ascribe to situations of a higher grade.

If you commit the following Class D felonies in New York, the authority can send you to prison for up to seven years:

  • Reckless assault of a child
  • Aggravated identity theft
  • Burglary
  • Various forms of manslaughter

Class E Felonies

The least severe felony charge in New York is a Class E felony, often used for significant offenses that do not merit a more severe felony penalty. Depending on the details of the case, a Class E felony sentence might range from two to five years in prison.

Some examples of New York Class E felonies are as follows:

  • A DWI or DUI case that causes damage to a person or building
  • Assault
  • Forceful contact
  • Aggravated harassment
  • Defrauding the government
  • Forceful contact
  • Unlawfully concealing a will

Loss of voting rights and the inability to hold specific professional licenses and public posts are supplementary consequences of a New York felony conviction in addition to the abovementioned terms.


Misdemeanors are treated less seriously than felonies, reflected in the associated punishments and sentence guidelines. Instead of the long prison terms that might come from a felony conviction, misdemeanors carry penalties of between 15 days and one year in jail time and fines of up to $1,000.

In New York, there are three categories of misdemeanors:

Class A Misdemeanors

Class A misdemeanors entail a maximum jail sentence of 364 days and a fine of $1,000 or double the amount of the defendant's gain from the act. You will be subject to these penalties when you commit any of the following:

  • Forcible touching
  • Unauthorized use of a computer
  • Graffiti damage to private or public property
  • Petit larceny
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Third-degree assault

Class B Misdemeanors

In addition to a fine of up to $500 or double the amount the offender obtained from the offense, Class B misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of three months in jail. If you are found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, such as those listed below, you will be liable to the punishments mentioned above:

  • Fourth-degree stalking
  • Public lewdness
  • Prostitution
  • First-degree harassment
  • Unlawful assembly
  • First-degree drug loitering

Unclassified Misdemeanors

Some violations of state law, such as those involving motor vehicles, may not fit well into any misdemeanor category. When this is the case, the consequences will usually be in the relevant statute or ordinance.

Some examples of uncategorized misdemeanors in New York include:

  • Reckless driving: It has a jail sentence of up to 30 days and a fine of up to $300.
  • Driving with a suspended license: This offense may result in a $200–$500 fine and a 30-day jail term.
  • DWI (driving while intoxicated): It incurs a fine of $500 to $1,000 and a possible jail sentence of 364 days.


Some offenses in New York are considered "violations" only and carry a maximum sentence of 15 days in jail. Disorderly conduct, trespassing, and illegal marijuana possession are violations against state law but are not considered crimes.

How Does Probation Work in New York?

When a New York criminal court sentences you to probation, you are freed from custody without having to spend any time behind bars. However, in some cases, you may get probation and an imprisonment term in New York simultaneously.

If you do not pose a danger to the public and you may benefit from New York probation supervision, the court is more likely to grant you probation.

New York Probation Conditions

In New York, probation conditions vary depending on the case and the offender's criminal history. But the most common probation conditions in the state include the following:

  • Reporting regularly to a probation officer
  • Completing community service
  • Paying fines, restitution, or both
  • Abstaining from illegal drugs and alcohol
  • Refraining from contact with victims or co-defendants
  • Maintaining employment or seeking employment if unemployed
  • Adhering to a curfew
  • Passing drug tests
  • Attending counseling or therapy as required
  • Refraining from possessing firearms or other potentially harmful weapons

It's important to note that these are general conditions, and each case may have unique or additional needs set by the court. Failure to comply with New York probationary requirements may result in probation being revoked and re-incarceration.

Your New York probation officer may submit a Violation of Probation (VOP) to the court if they have grounds to think that you have violated the terms of your probation.

Probationary Period in New York

The nature of your first offense will determine the length of your probationary period. But as per Article 65 of the New York Law, the standard conditional discharge period for most felonies in the state is three years, while one year for most misdemeanors and violations.

How Does Parole Work in New York?

After a term of imprisonment, parole is when you serve a portion of your sentence in the community.

The New York parole process begins with a parole hearing, where a panel of parole board members considers the individual's case and determines whether they are eligible for parole. If the committee determines that the individual is qualified, they will be released on parole and must comply with a set of conditions.

New York Parole Conditions

While on parole, the individual must regularly report to their assigned parole officer and comply with the conditions set by the parole board. These conditions may include attending counseling or rehabilitation programs, maintaining employment, and avoiding contact with known criminals or prohibited locations. The individual may also be subject to random drug tests and searches.

If the individual violates any of their parole conditions, they may be subject to re-incarceration. If the violation is severe, the parole officer will return the individual to prison to complete their sentence.

Parole Period in New York

Parolees must stay under monitoring in the community until their sentences have ended. Parolees who have served one, two, or three years without having their parole revoked may be eligible for merit termination or required termination of the sentence depending on the severity of their offense and the length of their sentence.

Under section 259-J, the parole officer will submit the case to the Board Parole for three or five-year release consideration if the parolee is eligible. Otherwise, parolees are released after their sentences reach their maximum expiry date or when they have fulfilled any post-release monitoring required by the court.

How Does Expungement Work in New York?

Expungement in New York refers to sealing criminal records from public view. It means that the record is not destroyed but kept confidential and not available to the public without a court order.

Depending on the person's circumstances, the court will determine whether to approve the expungement request. Generally, the following are the requirements to expunge or seal a criminal record in New York:

  • Providing evidence of rehabilitation and good conduct since the conviction
  • Demonstrating that the sealing of the record is in the interest of justice
  • Completing any sentence imposed, including any probation or parole requirements
  • Paying any fines or restitution ordered by the court
  • Filing a motion with the court that handled the original case
  • Waiting for the required period after sentencing before submitting the motion (varies depending on the type of conviction)
  • Staying crime-free throughout the waiting time
  • Not having any pending criminal cases
  • Not being the subject of an investigation by the police
  • Providing the court with a copy of the criminal history record

It is worth noting that not all New York Criminal Records are eligible for expungement.

What Crimes Can't You Expunge in New York?

Here are the crimes that you cannot expunge in New York:

  • Class A felonies
  • Sex offenses listed in the New York State Sex Offender Registration Act
  • Most violent felonies, like kidnapping and assault
  • Most offenses committed by public officers or employees
  • Most crimes involving children, such as endangering the welfare of a child
  • Most violations related to domestic violence, terrorism, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and drug offenses, except for some low-level marijuana offenses

Note that these limitations might change. Therefore, it is preferable to consult an experienced attorney for the most up-to-date information on whether or not a specific record is expungable in New York.

Suppose a criminal history record is not eligible for expungement or record sealing in New York. In that case, the Certificate of Good Conduct and the Certificate of Relief from Disabilities are alternatives to regain the rights of an individual.

How To Obtain a Criminal Record in New York?

Though the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services (NYDCJS) organizes New York Criminal Records in electronic record repositories and makes them available to the public as a Criminal Background Report, it only allows interested individuals to inquire about their own criminal histories.

Thus, you must contact the New York State Office of Court Administration (NYSOCA) if you want to access the state's public criminal records on another individual.

If you want to undertake a New York criminal record search in person or by mail, fill out a Criminal History Record Search (CHRS) Application Form. This form requires the full name and birthdate of the criminal history record holder before your name, address, phone number, and other pertinent information.

You can also search for a criminal history record online via the NYSOCA's Direct Access page.

Note that all methods of obtaining a criminal record in New York require a fee and waiting time to process your request.

Lastly, the New York State Unified Court System's Criminal Case Lookup web page provides convenient access to electronic copies of pending criminal cases for anybody who wants to do a free public criminal record check in New York.

What Are the Criminal Background Check Laws in New York?

While employers can conduct criminal background checks in New York, there are regulations to protect job seekers' rights and ensure that the information used in employment decisions is fair and accurate.

Aside from the FCRA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, here are the other criminal background check laws in New York:

Discrimination Against Criminal Convictions

NY Corr L section 752 (2019) prohibits employers from rejecting candidates because they have a criminal record unless the applicant's convictions are directly related to the job at hand or would put others in danger.

Arrests Without Conviction

Unless the cases are still open, CRAs are not permitted to provide information concerning arrests that do not result in convictions under NY Gen Bus L 380-J (2019).

Laws governing pre-employment background checks are also present in several New York counties and municipalities. Here are some of them:

Finally, Article 23-A of the Corrections Law regulates how businesses should approach job candidates with New York Criminal Records.

Counties in New York

Police Departments and Sheriffe Office in New York

Kings County Sheriff's Department210 Joralemon Street, 9th Floor, Brooklyn, NY
Queens County Sheriff's Department30-10 Starr Avenue, Long Island, NY
Suffolk County Sheriff's Office100 Center Drive, Riverhead, NY
Bronx County Sheriff's Department3030 Third Avenue, 2nd Floor, Bronx, NY
Nassau County Sheriff's Department100 Carman Avenue, East Meadow, NY
Westchester County Sheriff's Department1 Saw Mill River Pkwy, Hawthorne, NY
Erie County Sheriff's Office10 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY
Monroe County Sheriff's Office130 S. Plymouth Ave., Rochester, NY
Richmond County Sheriff's Office350 Saint Marks Avenue, Room 409, Staten Island, NY
Onondaga County Sheriff's Office407 S State Street, Syracuse, NY