Bill S2507-2013

Repeals section 160.58 of the criminal procedure law which requires the sealing of the conviction records of persons who have completed a drug treatment program

Repeals provisions requiring the sealing of the conviction records of persons who have completed a judicial diversion program or a drug treatment alternative to prison.

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
  • Jan 18, 2013: REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2507

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to inquiries about certain sealed convictions; and to repeal section 160.58 of the criminal procedure law relating to conditional sealing of certain controlled substances, marihuana or specified offense convictions

PURPOSE: This bill would repeal the sealing provision of the so-called "Rockefeller Drug Law Reform" enacted as a part of New York State's 2009-2010 Budget, which allows criminal courts, on notice to the prosecutor, to seal the criminal records of felons upon their successful completion of "drug court," and would restore the ability of prospective employers to obtain accurate criminal background checks.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Repeals CPL 160.58 which authorizes a criminal court on its own motion, or upon motion of the defendant, and on notice to the prosecutor, to seal all records of the current prosecution for Class 8, C, D and E drug felonies, in addition to a number of non-drug offenses enumerated in CPL 410.91, if a defendant successfully completes a "diversion" program, i.e., drug court. The section to be repealed further allows the Court to seal up to three previous drug misdemeanors in addition to the pending felony or felonies.

Section 2: Makes a conforming change to Executive Law Section 296.

Section 3: Effective date - immediately

EXISTING LAW: Criminal Procedure Law section 160.58 is repealed> Section 296 of the Executive Law is amended.

JUSTIFICATION: The Legislature has authorized and required criminal background checks be conducted when persons apply for firearms licenses or licenses to sell firearms. The Legislature has likewise provided that prospective employers can check applicants' criminal histories when they apply to be teachers, daycare and nursing home workers, caregivers for the mentally disabled and caregivers in the home, as well as for positions that require security clearance such as detectives, bank guards and armored car guards.

The expansive sealing provision enacted under the so-called "Rockefeller Drug Law Reform," purportedly to give drug criminals with up to four serious crimes on their records a clean slate, effectively insulates a whole class of criminals from this necessary scrutiny and thereby exposes to unwarranted risks vulnerable segments of our society, our children, our elderly, our bank tellers. In order to fulfill the Legislative purpose in allowing and mandating criminal background checks, the recently enacted sealing provisions must be stricken.

Notably, this legislation would have no effect on other sealing provisions provided to youthful offenders or persons acquitted of crimes or where the charges are adjourned in contemplation of dismissal.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.1990 of 2011 - Referred to Codes 01/04/12 FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2507 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 18, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. GOLDEN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern- ment Operations AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to inquiries about certain sealed convictions; and to repeal section 160.58 of the crimi- nal procedure law relating to conditional sealing of certain controlled substances, marihuana or specified offense convictions THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 160.58 of the criminal procedure law is REPEALED. S 2. Subdivision 16 of section 296 of the executive law, as separately amended by section 3 of part N and section 14 of part AAA of chapter 56 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: 16. It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice, unless specif- ically required or permitted by statute, for any person, agency, bureau, corporation or association, including the state and any political subdi- vision thereof, to make any inquiry about, whether in any form of appli- cation or otherwise, or to act upon adversely to the individual involved, any arrest or criminal accusation of such individual not then pending against that individual which was followed by a termination of that criminal action or proceeding in favor of such individual, as defined in subdivision two of section 160.50 of the criminal procedure law, or by a youthful offender adjudication, as defined in subdivision one of section 720.35 of the criminal procedure law, or by a conviction for a violation sealed pursuant to section 160.55 of the criminal proce- dure law [or by a conviction which is sealed pursuant to section 160.58 of the criminal procedure law], in connection with the licensing, employment or providing of credit or insurance to such individual; provided, further, that no person shall be required to divulge informa- tion pertaining to any arrest or criminal accusation of such individual not then pending against that individual which was followed by a termi-
nation of that criminal action or proceeding in favor of such individ- ual, as defined in subdivision two of section 160.50 of the criminal procedure law, or by a youthful offender adjudication, as defined in subdivision one of section 720.35 of the criminal procedure law, or by a conviction for a violation sealed pursuant to section 160.55 of the criminal procedure law[, or by a conviction which is sealed pursuant to section 160.58 of the criminal procedure law]. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to the licensing activities of governmental bodies in relation to the regulation of guns, firearms and other deadly weapons or in relation to an application for employment as a police officer or peace officer as those terms are defined in subdivisions thirty-three and thirty-four of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law; provided further that the provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to an application for employment or membership in any law enforce- ment agency with respect to any arrest or criminal accusation which was followed by a youthful offender adjudication, as defined in subdivision one of section 720.35 of the criminal procedure law, or by a conviction for a violation sealed pursuant to section 160.55 of the criminal proce- dure law[, or by a conviction which is sealed pursuant to section 160.58 of the criminal procedure law]. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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