Are youthful offender records sealed?

Yes.  Under CPL 720.35, "Youthful Offender" records are confidential and sealed as follows:

"Youth" means a person charged with a crime alleged to have been committed when he/she was at least sixteen years old & less than nineteen years old.  Youthful Offender status is granted at sentencing in the interest of justice & is meant to relieve the eligible youth from the onus of having a criminal record.

Youthful Offender records are automatically sealed upon a youthful offender adjudication. All official records and papers on file with court or police agency or the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) are sealed.

However, these confidential records are still available, or may be released to, the following:

  • The institution to which the youth has been committed.
  • The division of parole.
  • The probation department.
  • The statewide registry of orders of protection when an order of protection or family offense warrant is issued.
  • The designated educational official (DEO) of the public or private elementary or secordary school in which the youth is enrolled as a student. The DEO shall not have access to any other official records except an order of protection or temporary order of protection issued pursuant to CPL 530.12.
  • Statewide registry for orders of protection or a warrant issued pursuant to CPL 530.12.
  • Where specifically required or permitted by statute.
  • Upon specific authorization of the court.

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