Expunging and Sealing Criminal Records and Background Checks in New York

Paul Townsend
Paul Townsend | Robert C. Gottlieb & Associates

Paul Townsend joined Robert C. Gottlieb & Associates in May 2019 and is senior counsel to the firm. He represents clients in a wide variety of white-collar and traditional criminal defense matters in federal and state courts both in New York and throughout the country.

On-Demand: April 15, 2022

$195.00 2 hour CLE

MCLE Credit Information:

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Program Summary

In this CLE, we will examine post-conviction relief offered in New York State. Attorneys will learn the current state of the law as it applies to individuals who have been charged with crimes, and how the various ways that a criminal case can be resolved will affect their Record of Arrest and Prosecution (aka the RAP sheet), as well as their criminal history maintained by the Department of Criminal Justice Services for the state of New York.

This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Expungement – we will look at the extremely limited circumstances where only recently New York State has determined to provide for the expungement of a very narrow set of convictions
  • Sealing – we will discuss how and when a criminal case can be sealed, and what steps need to be taken by the individual criminal defendant in order to ensure that sealing has been effected
  • Criminal Background Checks – we will examine what happens when an individual submits to a background check to apply for a job as a police or peace officer, or to apply for a pistol license, as opposed to the background check conducted when one applies for a non-law enforcement job, or for a mortgage, car loan, or apartment lease

Date / Time: April 15, 2022

  • 1:00 pm – 3:10 pm Eastern
  • 12:00 pm – 2:10 pm Central
  • 11:00 am – 1:10 pm Mountain
  • 10:00 am – 12:10 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program "live" in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for "live" CLE credit.

On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 5 business days after the original recording date and are viewable for up to one year.

Closed-captioning available


Paul-Townsend_FedBarPaul Townsend | Robert C. Gottlieb & Associates.

Paul Townsend joined Robert C. Gottlieb & Associates in May 2019 and is senior counsel to the firm. He represents clients in a wide variety of white-collar and traditional criminal defense matters in federal and state courts both in New York and throughout the country. Mr. Townsend has obtained countless favorable results for his clients through non-prosecution agreements, motion practice, plea negotiations, hearings and trial. Since joining the firm, he has tried both federal and state cases in New York, Vermont and California. Additionally, he has been published in the New York Law Journal.

Prior to coming to the firm, Mr. Townsend worked as an associate for a boutique criminal defense practice and handled complex high-profile criminal litigation. He has successfully tried cases in both the state and federal courts in New York and has handled cases in Colorado, Connecticut, and Florida. Notably, Mr. Townsend was one of the attorneys on the trial team representing Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman-Loera during his trial for being the leader of the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel in the federal court for the Eastern District of New York.

Mr. Townsend previously served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York. While at the District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Townsend prosecuted hundreds of felony cases in the Major Narcotics and Firearms Bureau, and specialized in utilizing wiretaps, pen registers, trap and trace devices and other methods of electronic surveillance against criminal organizations. Mr. Townsend presented hundreds of cases to grand juries, including the possession and sale of largescale narcotics and firearms, attempted murder, robbery, assault, robbery, burglary, and white-collar fraud.

He earned his juris doctorate from Brooklyn Law School and a double major bachelor of arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He is admitted to practice in all New York State Courts as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York.

Additionally, Mr. Townsend is also the creator and host of the popular legal podcast, In Summation: The Final Word. In it, he examines some of the most famous, infamous – and often misunderstood – court cases to make headlines across America. In doing so, he provides listeners with a true and unbiased understanding of the underlying facts as the judge or jury would have heard them at the time. He then explains the role of each party, breaks down the legal arguments presented, and gives “the final word” on who ultimately prevailed, and why.


I. Expungement | 1:00 pm -1:35 pm
II. Sealing | 1:35 pm – 2:00 pm

Break | 2:00 pm – 2:10 pm

III. Sealing | 2:10 pm – 2:25 pm
IV. Criminal Background Checks | 2:25 pm – 3:10 pm