The record was sealed by court, but it came up on the background check. What can we do?

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The record was sealed by court, but it came up on the background check. What can we do?

My husband’s record was sealed. He was convicted with disorderly conduct and his attorney told him that he may not disclose this charge when he applies to job. He was hired and now at the end of probation period he received a letter from Albany stating the conviction as petit larceny and that his job should be terminated but he has 30 days to write an explanation. Did his lawyer lied to us. Is there any hope to remain in this job and if yes, then what should we do?

Asked on May 26, 2009 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Sealed records are not erased or destroyed, they are just as the name implies "sealed".  Sealed records may be used in applications for certain licenses and employment.  Not knowing what your husband's job is I can't say for sure.

Even if the job is the type that the records should in fact have remained sealed for, their dissemination was most probably done in error.  In the information age it's hard to keep criminal records from coming to light.  It's not supposed to happen but it does.  I've provided you a link to a New York Times article that further explains this predicament:  

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/17/us/17expunge.html

You need to contact his attorney and see what else you can do to try and remedy this situation,  especially since misinformation is being given out; disorderly conduct is not petit larceny. 

Best of luck.


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