When Does Ten Years Mean More than Ten Years for Sealing Convictions under Section 160.59?

The statement that you must have at least ten years between the conviction you want to seal and the time you file the motion under Section 160.59 is generally true.

But sometimes, ten years from conviction can mean more than ten years from conviction.  

Under Section 160.59, if you served a prison sentence connected to your conviction, then the ten year clock doesn't start ticking until the date you were actually released from custody. Therefore if you were convicted in 2006, it might be tempting to assume that as of today (in 2017) you are more than ten years out and therefore eligible for sealing under Section 160.59. And you might be. But if you were convicted in 2006, sentenced to three years in prison, and released in 2009, then you would not be eligible to file a motion to seal under Section 160.59 until 2019. 

Also, if for any reason you spent time in custody since your 2006 conviction, the ten year clock stops ticking while you are in custody. This means, for example, that if you did not initially go to prison, and were simply put on probation, then if you were later violated on probation and sent to prison, that time you spent in custody for the probation violation would not count toward the ten years.  

Therefore, in this way, ten years doesn't always mean ten years for purposes of motions to seal convictions under Section 160.59.