Legislation will seal records for petty offenses

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TOWN OF DICKINSON (WBNG) — Governor Cuomo signed legislation into law on Monday, allowing individuals convicted of petty offenses, to have their records sealed by default.

The Broome County Sheriff’s Office defines a petty offense as crimes similar to disorderly conduct, harassment, and even indecent exposure.

According to the Governor’s office, sealing records in the past, has been inconsistent.

“For years, local law enforcement agencies were not consistent in how they chose to seal conviction records for petty offenses,” said Governor Cuomo.

Local law enforcement authorities say sealing records is not a decision they make. It is an order that comes from the courts.

“It has to do with the fact if the courts are sending out the orders or not. The agencies are following the court’s order by sealing them,” said Broome County Sheriff David Harder.

Authorities also expressed concerns over repeat offenders, and whether or not their records should be sealed.

“The only trouble is, you’ll never know if that person has been arrested for that offense at a different time. You can get arrested in Binghamton, and it will be sealed. Go to Johnson City, it’ll be sealed. You’ll never know how many times you’ve been arrested for the same problem,” said Harder.

The legislation is set to take effect in 90 days.

Katie Jones

Katie Jones

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