Sealing Your Criminal Record
Contrary to what you have always been taught, your past mistakes do not have to follow you for life. It is common knowledge that criminal charges can cause problems with everything from applying for a job or financial aid to volunteering with your children’s school. Even dismissals of criminal charges can potentially cause embarrassment and place you in a negative light socially or in the eyes of a prospective employer.
What many people don’t realize however, is that in May of 2012, a change in the Massachusetts sealing statute became effective, which offers relief from these lifelong problems. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be possible to seal your criminal record — even if you’ve pled guilty to a crime or been have been convicted of one.
Do not take chances with your future. Contact my Worcester office today to explore the possibility of having your criminal record sealed.
I am criminal defense attorney Nicole Colby Longton. I frequently prepare and present motions (petitions) to seal criminal records for my clients under this new law — for every type of case from misdemeanor dismissals to felony convictions.
If you pled guilty or were found guilty of a charge, you may have to wait a certain number of years before petitioning the court to seal your record. As a lawyer experienced with the new sealing laws in Massachusetts, I can properly advise you regarding filing a motion to seal your criminal record.
Massachusetts Criminal Convictions You May Be Able To Seal
The following is a nonexhaustive list of criminal charges that may be sealed:
- Drug possession
- Violent crimes
- Weapons violations, including firearms
- Theft crimes, including shoplifting, larceny, and burglary
What Sealing A Criminal Record Means
On August 6, 2010, Governor Patrick signed into law Chapter 256 of the Acts of 2010. The law made major changes to the way employers and others obtain access to Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and provides important protections to individuals with criminal records. Under the new statute, once your criminal record is sealed — and assuming that you have no other criminal history — a search conducted by the Massachusetts Criminal History Systems Board should produce the answer that you have “no criminal record.” As such, when applying for a job, you may legally answer on your application not only that you have never been convicted of a crime, but also that you have never been charged or arrested for a criminal offense!
Contact Me About Sealing Your Record — Free Consultations
My law office is located in Worcester, Massachusetts. I have had considerable success in filing motions to seal and take every step necessary to increase your chances of sealing your records. If you have questions regarding expungement or the potential sealing of your Massachusetts criminal record, including eligibility and waiting times, contact me, attorney Nicole Colby Longton today. Call my office at 508-793-2000.