Criminal Defense DUI & Traffic Offenses

Can A DWI Be Expunged From My Record?

Can A DWI Be Expunged From My Record?
Edited by Saul Bienenfeld

If you have been convicted of DWI in New York, there is a record of the case kept by the court where you were sentenced. After you were arrested for DWI, a rap sheet was created for you. This rap sheet is an official record of your arrest and conviction history and is kept in Albany by the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). Your rap sheet is most often used by the police and members of the criminal justice system but in some cases, public employers may have access to it.

DWI Offenses and Expungement, Sealing of Conviction Records

Expungement is the process of erasing a criminal record. It is important for DWI offenders to know that New York State does not have expungement with respect to DWI misdemeanors and DWI felonies. Expungement is only available if a DWI case was dismissed or the offender was acquitted of the DWI charges. Therefore, a DWI misdemeanor or DWI felony offense is never going to be removed from an offender’s criminal record. Also, a driving while ability impaired (DWAI) traffic violation is one of three violations in New York State that is never expunged or sealed–which means that it will be on the offender’s permanent record for the rest of their life. Sealing of conviction records is currently only allowed in New York under Criminal Procedure Law § 160.50 for those defendants who are acquitted of DWI crimes or who have their cases dismissed, if the DWI charges were dropped, vacated, or the DWI conviction was set aside.


Certificate of Good Conduct

Under New York Correction Law §703-a, a person may obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct from the State Board of Parole. A Certificate of Good Conduct may be issued to defendants who have been convicted of more than one crime, after a minimum period of time has passed since their unrevoked release from supervision, or from the end date of a sentence. This certificate can provide a “presumption of rehabilitation,” if a person has been convicted of several DWI offenses. This means that they should not be rejected for employment just because of their convictions, unless the convictions have a direct bearing on their ability to perform the job.


About the author

Saul Bienenfeld