The state of Massachusetts CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) system is diligently maintained by the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services. The Department makes your criminal record readily available to not only employers, but to the public at large! Under Massachusetts law, it is lawful for the general public to request the Department to provide a copy of another person’s publicly accessible adult conviction record.
Therefore, it is vital that you have your Massachusetts criminal record convictions sealed! Once your record is sealed, a subsequent CORI inquiry will report, "No Adult Criminal Records On File". Sealing your record will not arouse suspicion or "raise a red flag". Once your record is sealed, Massachusetts law states that you can answer "No" or "No record" when an employer asks if you have a criminal record. Further, once sealed, it is a crime in Massachusetts for someone to report your previous criminal conviction.
The process of record sealing is often complex, with a myriad of laws and paperwork. There are four different methods utilizing four different laws that allow you to seal your Massachusetts criminal record. They are as follows:
Massachusetts law allows record sealing after a certain time period.
Misdemeanors - 5 years.
Felonies - 10 years.
The waiting period begins to toll when YOUR ENTIRE SENTENCE IS COMPETED. I.E. When your probation ends, when you are released from jail, when your suspended sentence ends, etc.
2. Dismissed or Not Guilty (any non-convictions).
You may immediately have your case sealed. This includes dispositions such as; 1) Not guilty, 2) Dismissed or "nol prossed", or 3) No probable cause (felony cases).
3. Misdemeanor Drug Possession Offenses.
Certain misdemeanor drug possession convictions may be sealed immediately. These include; First conviction of possession of a controlled substance. First offense of possession of marijuana or a class E substance.
4. Juvenile Records.
Juvenile records may be sealed after three (3) years. Serious juvenile cases fall under a myriad of other laws for record sealing, but can be accomplished.