New York State compiles and maintains records of all criminal convictions in its Court system, but a recent study by the Legal Action Center revealed that errors in those records are more common than they should be. The study reviewed thousands of criminal records and compared them with the records maintained by the Court system. It concluded that:
Between 511 (14.6%) and 543 (15.5%) were missing disposition information;
Between 145 (4.1%) and 246 (7%)incorrectly listed open warrants;
Between 280 (8%) and 523 (15%) revealed information about violations that should have been sealed;
Between 177 (5.1%) and 363 (10.4%) revealed information about dismissed cases that should have been sealed.
The accuracy of these records is important because Prosecutors and Judges frequently rely on them to set bail and determine appropriate plea bargains and sentences. It’s important to review your criminal record after a criminal case is disposed of to make certain your case was properly reported and recorded.
James Quinn Auricchio, Esq., is an attorney with offices in Buffalo and West Seneca, New York.