Free Consultation with An Experienced Attorney to Handle Your Petition for Expungement
There are a number of specific factors which may or may not impact whether you may have offenses on your criminal record removed. Contact us today for a free initial consultation to discuss whether or not your record is eligible for expungement in Massachusetts.
When you are convicted of a crime, your criminal record may follow you for the rest of your life. A criminal record creates difficulties when applying for a job, renting an apartment, securing a mortgage for a home, obtaining government benefits or a loan, or applying for continued education. One option made available to people with less serious criminal convictions is to make a formal request to have their criminal record sealed.
Regardless of whether or not you plead guilty, an experienced Boston Record Sealing lawyer can prepare and present motions (or “petitions”) to seal your criminal record. Having your criminal record sealed would allow you more privacy when applying for certain types of jobs or housing. Every situation is different and that is why it is important to retain an attorney experienced in sealing criminal records. The law firm of Gerald J. Noonan has that experience and expertise.
Convictions for a felony crime have a fifteen year wait period before you’re allowed to seal the record for that felony offense. Misdemeanor convictions have a ten year waiting period. A continuance without a finding or CWOF is considered a conviction for the purposes of sealing records. However, a judge has the discretion to shorten the waiting periods for a continuance without a finding. The judge is most likely to consider shortening the period for CWOF’s if probation didn’t accompany the continuance without a finding.
Your Massachusetts Record Sealing Attorney must present to the judge how not having your criminal record sealed would unfairly affect you. If having this offense as part of your record would adversely affect an educational, job, or housing opportunity then the judge would be more inclined to allow the record to be sealed.
Here is a list of possible criminal charges in Massachusetts that we may be able to seal:
- Disorderly Conduct
- Drug Possession
- Simple Assault
- Weapons Violations
After My Records Are Sealed, What Do I Tell Potential Employers?
Assuming there are no other criminal records, once a criminal record is sealed, any search conducted by a criminal records search service, employment agency or the Massachusetts Criminal History Systems Board should result in a “no criminal record” response. When applying for a job, Massachusetts state law also permits you to indicate on your job application that you have never been convicted of any criminal offense. You may also answer “no” to the “have you ever been charged or arrested for a criminal offense.” Again, Massachusetts criminal record sealing statute authorizes these answers. All employers and criminal check agencies use Massachusetts’s Criminal History Systems Board for criminal background checks so your record can once again be clean.
What is an Expungement of a Criminal Record?
To have your criminal or public record expunged means having a specific criminal record removed or destroyed from your public/criminal record. Massachusetts only allows for a few situations where a judge is able to order the expungement of a criminal record.
A judge may expunge an individual’s record if:
- A delinquency case was previously dismissed due to insufficient evidence; or
- They have been a victim of identity theft.
Criminal Records That You Cannot Expunge in Massachusetts
- Abuse prevention orders that have been vacated
- Any criminal records governed by the Massachusetts’s sealing statute
- Criminal or juvenile records currently maintained by a probation department
- Criminal or juvenile records currently maintained by a clerk’s magistrate office
Free Legal Consultation With an Experienced Expungement Attorney and Find Out If Your Record Can Be Expunged
No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call our Boston Expungement Lawyers to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 584-6955 and you will have taken your first step to find out how best to confront this important matter. You can also click here to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.