New York Background Check Faqs
At Checkr, we understand that background check laws can be confusing. Here are answers to some of the most common questions from employers.
How many years does a criminal report cover?
The lookback period for a criminal report can vary depending on the state and industry-specific laws that the employer is subject to. In some states, the lookback period may be limited to seven years. In other states, the lookback period may be indefinite.
How can I obtain a NY background check?
Choose Checkr. We help you maneuver background checks and assist you in simplifying compliance with federal, state, and local laws.
How long does it take to complete a New York state background check?
It can take weeks to deal with multiple agencies, especially if you want to know about out-of-state convictions. With Checkr, we get the job done quickly. We aim to return comprehensive information to employers within a couple of days.
What Are New York Criminal Records
New York criminal records are official documents that detail the criminal history information of persons within the state. The information contained in these records typically includes the subjects various offenses as well as their arrest history, charges, court judgments/convictions, and pending dispositions.
These records, also referred to as rap sheets, are mostly assembled from various jurisdictions within the state, specifically trial and appeal courts, law enforcement agencies, and local and state-run correctional institutions.
New York criminal records typically feature the following:
The full name of the subject of the record
- A mugshot of the subject and details of unique physical descriptors
- The birth date, gender, and nationality of the subject
- A full set of fingerprints
- Details of all indictments
- Arrest information as well as past/outstanding warrants
- Conviction information and pending dispositions.
Criminal records are one of several police records compiled on offenders and persons who have entered the New York criminal justice system. Others include arrest records, arrest warrants, and logs of police activities.
Know Your Employment Rights In New York State
You are looking to move on with your life and get past your criminal record. While many employers are open to hiring you for your knowledge, skills and experience, some employers are required by law to consider certain convictions in their hiring process. Before beginning your job search, learn about your legal rights and documents that might help you in obtaining employment.
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New York Public Records Act And Laws For Background Check
Freedom of Information Law
The New York Freedom of Information Law guarantees the right of the public to view and access numerous types of records retained by local and state government agencies and courts. The law establishes the responsibilities of state agencies and affiliates to maintain and make available to the public a wide range of documents, including meeting plans, state legislative records, and electronic communications. New York heavily restricts the use of background checks by employers. Numerous state laws protect those convicted of previous crimes. It is illegal for employers to inquire about prior arrests or charges, but not convictions. Dismissed, youthful offender adjudication and sealed records are also off-limits for employers to ask about.
What Is A Dwi In New York
Driving while impaired , or drunk driving, is one of the more serious traffic violations in New York. A DWI in New York refers to the crime of operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08% for adults, 0.04% for commercial vehicle operators, and 0.01% for minors.
New York mandates law enforcement officials to stop drivers that appear impaired and to administer field sobriety tests. Police officers will arrest drivers whose BAC is above the limit. The penalties for a DUI in New York include fines between $500 – $1000, 1-7 years in prison, and license suspension for 90 days to one year.
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Are Police Records Public In New York
Yes, police records are available to the public in New York. Police records are official documents containing details about law enforcement activities. Examples include arrest records, 911 tapes, police blotters, incident/offense records, etc.
However, some police records are confidential and can only be assessed by eligible persons. The exempt records, according to Section 87 of the New York Freedom of Information Law, include:
- Any record whose disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy
- Any record whose dissemination would interfere with a law enforcement investigation or judicial proceeding
- Records revealing the identity of a confidential source
- Records showing confidential information related to a criminal investigation
- Any record whose disclosure would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or impartial adjudication
- Records that reveal criminal investigative techniques or procedures, except routine techniques and procedures
- Records that may endanger the life or safety of any person
What Comes Up On A New York State Background Check
When you conduct a pre-employment background check in New York, the information you might see will depend on what you request. When you partner with iprospectcheck, you can customize your background check requests to only receive the specific types of information you require.
While the other types of requested information might vary, most New York employers ask for criminal history reports, verification of employment, and verification of education. Below is a brief description of what you might see for these types of reports.
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What Are New York Juvenile Criminal Records
New York state juvenile criminal records are official records detailing criminal activity committed by children or adolescents who are not yet of legal adult age. Juveniles are not considered to be convicted of a crime like an adult but instead are found to be adjudicated delinquent. They are tried in a juvenile court and remanded to a juvenile detention center.
Juvenile criminal records are often mistakenly thought to be erased or expunged once a person becomes of legal adult age, but in fact, the record remains in the juvenile justice system unless the person petitions to have it expunged. If a person was found adjudicated delinquent to a criminal offense, they do not have to respond yes if asked whether they have ever been convicted of a crime, unless the question specifically asks if they were ever “adjudicated delinquent” as well.
Is There An Appeals Process In Place For Public Records Requests In New York
There is an appeals process. Appeals must be made in writing within 30 days of denial.
The request must be made to the head of the governing body, entity, or person designated as head.
Government agencies in New York have ten business days of receiving the appeal to explain in writing either the reasons for denial entirely or to be granted access.
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How Can I Access Public Records In New York
Some records are available online, while others require a formal request. If a request is necessary, it can be delivered by mail, email, or phone to the record-holding department.
Every department is different, so expect some variation to the rules if youre accessing records from multiple places. This can be done by email, mail, or phone, depending on the department where the request is submitted.
In general, a public records request should include:
- A time frame that you would like to receive the materials by
- Document delivery method, mail or email
Federal And New York Laws Provide Some Protections For Applicants With Criminal Records
An estimated 65 million Americans have a criminal record. If you are one of them, you might be in for a difficult job search. Surveys show that a majority of employers a whopping 92%, according to one recent survey check criminal records when hiring, at least for some jobs. If a prospective employer finds out that you have an arrest or conviction record, you might find it difficult to compete in today’s tight job market.
Job seekers with criminal records have some legal rights. Federal and state laws place some limits on how employers can use these records in making job decisions. New York law gives applicants a number of protections in this situation, too.
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What Is Reported On A New York Criminal Background Check
When you conduct a pre-employment background check, the information you receive depends on your organizations needs. Checkr takes the hassle out of background checks by allowing you to customize your requests. Most employers ask for a report into criminal history, verification of previous employment, and confirmation of credentials. So, what can you expect to see on an NYC background check?
Federal Background Check Law
You may have wondered, Is it against the law to do a background check without my permission?
The answer is yes under the Fair Credit Reporting Act .
Not only must employers get your written permission to conduct a background check, they have to notify you if they intend to disqualify you based on the report.
If the issue is a criminal record, the employer should look at the individual circumstances.
Because arrest and incarceration rates are higher for some racial groups, blanket bans on hiring those with criminal histories may be discriminatory under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
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Can You Get A Free Background Report In New York
Background checks are not free in New York. An official background check is processed by the New York State Office of Court Administration . Background checks are based on name and date of birth. Any variation of the name or DOB will not return results. A state background check will cost $95 and only reflects information that has been electronically uploaded to the statewide database.
Unofficial background checks can be performed by searching public records databases in New York.
Certificate Of Conduct And Non
Please note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to limit the number of people gathered in one place, ALL fingerprinting services will now require an appointment. Walk-ins WILL NOT be accepted.
Only individuals with appointments may visit the office. Appointments can be scheduled by clicking on the following link then click services and follow the instructions Please review all information listed below carefully to ensure that you have the correct documents to schedule an appointment. Once scheduled, please arrive on time. If not, your appointment will be rescheduled based on availability. Bring all required documents and payment to the appointment.
All applicants will be fingerprinted and/or photographed to obtain Certificates of Conduct or Non-Criminal Fingerprint Cards.In order to decrease the spread of illnesses, face masks must be worn inside of the building. Applicants will be required to take a temperature reading upon entering the building. To allow for social distancing, do not bring additional people to your appointment. Translation services will be provided, if necessary. When planning your travel time, include extra time to pass through two security checks.
All Certificates of Conduct will be mailed via United States Postal Service after the completion of processing. Processing and mailing should occur within ten business days.
Certificate of Conduct and Non-Criminal Fingerprint Section
Location and Contact Information
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New York Law On Use Of Criminal Records
New York gives applicants a number of protections when it comes to employer use of criminal records in making hiring decisions. Employers may not ask about or consider arrests or charges that did not result in conviction, unless they are currently pending, when making hiring decisions. They also may not ask about or consider records that have been sealed or youthful offender adjudications.
Employer with at least ten employees may not refuse to hire an applicant based on a criminal conviction unless hiring the applicant would pose an unreasonable risk to property or to public or individual safety, or the conviction bears a direct relationship to the job. The law defines a “direct relationship” strictly to mean that the nature of the criminal conduct underlying the conviction has a direct bearing on the applicant’s fitness or ability to perform one or more of the duties or responsibilities that are necessary related to the job.
An employer that considers an applicant’s prior conviction must look at these eight factors:
An employer who decides not to hire someone based on a criminal conviction must, upon the applicant’s request, provide a written statement of the reasons for the decision. This statement must be provided within 30 days of the request.
Whats On A New York Criminal Record
Criminal history records contain information regarding a persons contact with law enforcement and court case outcomes. Details are pulled from local police departments, local criminal courts, and the state prison system.
More specifically, a criminal record or a background check will provide the following information:
- Current and past warrants
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Title Vii: Discrimination Based On Criminal Records
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in every aspect of employment, including screening practices and hiring. Because arrest and incarceration rates are higher for African Americans and Latinos, an employer that adopts a blanket policy of excluding all applicants with a criminal record might be guilty of race discrimination.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued guidance explaining how employers can screen out applicants whose criminal records pose an unreasonable risk without engaging in discrimination. In deciding whether a particular offense should be disqualifying, employers must consider:
- the nature and gravity of the criminal offense or conduct
- how much time has passed since the offense or sentence, and
- the nature of the job .
The EEOC also has said that employers should give applicants with a record an opportunity to explain the circumstances and provide mitigating information showing that the employee should not be excluded based on the offense.
New York Criminal Records
New York, like every state, has a vast array of criminal records available. Getting them from New York City versus the rest of the state can result in a vastly different experience. There are many reasons for seeking out criminal records.
The primary reason is employment, as most employers require a background check. Other causes could include completing a business contract, volunteering, or proceeding with an adoption.
The New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services maintains criminal records in the state.
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Are New York Arrest Records Public
Yes, New York arrest records are public, according to the states FOIL. Although there is no central repository for anyone looking to perform an arrest search, local law enforcement generates public arrest records when they apprehend suspects.
Interested persons may visit a local New York police station to obtain an arrest record. However, individuals looking for free arrest records may be disappointed, as the stations will at least charge administrative costs for accessing and copying records.
New York State Background Check: A Complete Guide
In New York, employers know the importance of finding the most qualified and trustworthy employees to fill their open positions.
When employers fail to complete comprehensive pre-employment background checks during the hiring process, they could be exposed to legal liability through negligent hiring lawsuits and other losses.
New York employment background checks are critical components of a good hiring and onboarding process. When you work with a reputable provider of employment background checks in New York like iprospectcheck, you can be confident that you will receive comprehensive, FCRA-compliant, and up-to-date information about your job candidates.
We know all of the various aspects of the employment background check process in New York and provide comprehensive employment background check reports each year to employers in New York City, Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and more.
To help you understand the requirements of New York pre-employment background checks, we have provided an overview explaining how your company can remain compliant with federal and state laws.
Lets get started.
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New York State Laws On Employment Background Checks
New York employers and CRAs must comply with multiple state laws covering pre-employment background checks.
Changes to New York Citys Fair Chance Act
In July 2021, New York City amended its Fair Chance Act to expand its protection for applicants and employees with certain types of criminal records. Under this law, employers must now wait until after a conditional offer of employment has been extended before conducting criminal background checks.
Employers are expected to separate their pre-employment background checks into two reports. The first check, which can be conducted before a conditional offer of employment, can include non-criminal background information such as an applicants employment history, education, and reference checks.
The second report will only include the applicants criminal history information. If convictions are revealed, employers must complete the Fair Chance process before making a final decision not to hire the applicants.
Arrests not Resulting in Convictions
Under NY Gen Bus L § 380-J , CRAs may not report information about arrests not resulting in convictions unless the cases are pending. This statute also prohibits the reporting of drug or alcohol addiction records that are seven or more years old, satisfied judgments that are five or more years old, confinement in mental institutions seven or more years old, or retail thefts without uncoerced confessions and signed statements.
Discrimination Against Criminal Convictions
New York Public Records
New York is one of the unique states for Freedom of Information laws because it operates two different systems for delivering public information to those requesting it.
Also, the single agency that receives the most FOIL request, the New York Police Department , operates independently even though they are under the same laws as the rest of the city.
While the Freedom of Information Act grants U.S. citizens the right to review records, each state has its version.
Since the process is not straightforward, it helps to know exactly where to go to make the process as simple as possible.
Every state has different processes, so its essential to know the states law before requesting any documents.
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