Record Sealing Attorney in Taunton, MA
Individuals who have criminal records can encounter a number of challenges in their daily lives, even if the offenses occurred many years ago. With a few exceptions, Massachusetts law does not allow you to expunge your criminal record (i.e., destroy or erase it). However, a Massachusetts statute does offer a procedure, known as CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) sealing, by which criminal records can be sealed from public view to prevent certain individuals or agencies from learning about your criminal history.
The Contents of a Criminal Record are Extensive
In Massachusetts, a person’s criminal record includes data on both criminal convictions and on each arraignment, dismissal of charges, nolle prosequi (discontinuation of prosecution), and “not guilty” finding they have experienced. If criminal charges were ever brought against you, for either a misdemeanor or a felony offense, the relevant facts will be found in your criminal record.
However, some types of criminal actions will not appear on your record, such as reports of child abuse or neglect. Also, juvenile records are not included in your record, unless you were put on trial as an adult. Finally, only Massachusetts state cases will be contained in your Massachusetts criminal record.
Qualifications for Sealing Your Criminal Record
Under Massachusetts Law, if you were not convicted of a crime, you can file a petition to seal your criminal records if the outcome of your case was for (1) dismissal with no probationary terms entered by the court; (2) failure to indict determined by a grand jury; (3) a finding of no probable cause by the court; (4) a not guilty finding by a jury or court; or (5) nolle prosequi (defined above). If you were convicted of a crime you may have to wait a while before you can attempt to have your record sealed.
The procedures involved in sealing a criminal record can be complicated to understand and implement, so it is in your best interest to hire a qualified attorney to assist you. Attorney Rachel Matos can help you understand the methods and consequences of sealing or of not sealing your criminal record. Contact the Law Office of Rachel M. Matos at 508-386-9094 to get more information on sealing your record today.