Expungements & Sealing

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Do you have a prior criminal record or conviction? Is it preventing you from getting a job, getting a gun permit, or in any way interfering with your immigration process? Our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help. Our Massachusetts criminal defense attorneys have successfully represented clients in having their records sealed, allowing them to move their lives forward. Since every case is different, our attorneys are available around the clock to provide you with a free case evaluation. 

Expungement of Criminal Records

The expungement of a criminal record involves the removal or destruction of that record. In Massachusetts, there are only a few situations where a judge can order the expungement of a criminal record:

  • When a criminal defendant is charged and convicted under the "wrong identity," the innocent person's name can be expunged from the record
  • An abuse prevention order that was fraudulently acquired
  • A delinquency case that was dismissed because of insufficient evidence can be expunged from police records

What You Cannot Expunge in Massachusetts

  • Criminal records governed by the sealing statute
  • Criminal or juvenile records under the maintenance of the probation department or the clerk's magistrate office
  • Abuse prevention orders that have been vacated

Massachusetts Sealing Statute

Once you are arraigned for a crime in Massachusetts, you will automatically have a criminal record—even if the charges are thrown out, the case is dismissed, or a jury finds that you are "not guilty." Your criminal offender record information ("CORI") is easily accessible to anyone who needs to access this information, including employers, schools, professional organizations, and housing authorities.

Massachusetts has a sealing statue that allows for certain criminal records to be sealed so that they can no longer be accessed through the general records. This will prevent anyone who doesn't work for the criminal justice system from seeing that you ever had a criminal record.

If You Were Convicted for a Crime

Massachusetts has some of the strictest sealing statutes in the United States when it comes to sealing the criminal record of a person convicted for a crime. Massachusetts G.L.c. 276 § 100A allows for a record of criminal conviction to be sealed after 10-15 years of completion of sentence, while Massachusetts G.L.c. 276, § 100B allows juveniles to seal their criminal conviction record after three years. No other offenses can be committed during these time periods. Criminal records involving sexual assault or weapons-related convictions cannot be sealed.

Having a criminal record can prevent you from being considered for certain job or education-related opportunities. It can also negatively affect the outcome of your child custody dispute.

When petitioning to have your criminal record expunged or sealed, it is often in your best interests to have an experienced attorney handle your matter.  At Altman & Altman, LLP, we understand the importance of having your record sealed and will guide you through the entire process.  We are available to speak with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us online or call 617.492.3000 or 800.481.6199 (toll free) to request your free consultation with Altman & Altman LLP. We are available to our clients after hours and on weekends. Our Boston, Massachusetts criminal defense law firm represents clients in the Greater Boston area and throughout Massachusetts.

Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog - Expungement/Sealing Record