If I’m applying to the CA Bar, do I have to disclose dismissed arrests that were sealed in NY?

Will CA honor NY sealing (Full Faith and Credit Clause) and NY CPL 160.60 of allowing defendants who’ve had cases against them dismissed and sealed to deny the existence of such a record?

Asked on July 15, 2010 under Criminal Law, New York


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your case has been sealed/expunged, you will not have to disclose the matter.  Arrests are usually not considered bad acts, per se (think evidentiary law) but you should review the guidance for California Bar requirements.  If it helps, consider discussing the matter with a criminal defense attorney, because while expungement laws differ from state to state and full faith and credit clause may work in the courtroom, it may not be necessarily applicable to your application. It never pays to lie, so you need to ensure that what you are disclosing is truthful.  If the question asks for arrests, and your arrests were not expunged, then you may need to disclose and discuss. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.