What Is Criminal Record Sealing?

Expungement is the process by which a person with a criminal record is able to have that record cleaned or erased, along with police reports and other documents surrounding the event. Many states allow expungement for certain crimes or under certain circumstances. Unfortunately, in the state of Massachusetts expungement is not allowed for any reason. You may, however, be able to have your criminal record sealed.

What does it mean to have my record sealed?

While your criminal record will not be destroyed, it will no longer be accessible to the general public. Getting your record sealed means that it will not be viewable and will be kept private and out of public access. If your record is sealed, the arrest will not show up in a background search conducted by a potential employer, landlord, or other individual. If, however, you are again arrested at some point in the future, the record may be viewable to law enforcement officials and the court.

Do I qualify to seal my record?

There are certain situations in which a criminal record may be sealed in the state of Massachusetts. These situations are as follows:

  • If your conviction or admission of guilt occurred a certain length of time ago. These time periods were recently reduced. Under current law, the waiting period for sealing of a felony is 10 years. The waiting period for sealing of a misdemeanor is 5 years.
  • If your arrest resulted in dismissal or a "not guilty" verdict.
  • If the crime of which you were convicted is no longer considered a crime.

How can an attorney help?

In my years of experience as a Salem criminal defense attorney, I have been able to help many of my clients seal their records from public view. This important step allows them to move on after an arrest rather than allowing a past mistake to detrimentally impact their lives. This is something that I am very passionate about as a lawyer. My goal is to help you protect your future by avoiding unnecessary repercussions from the past.

If you want to learn more about the process of sealing your record so that you can get on with your life after an arrest, call my office to set up a free consultation. We all make mistakes. I may be able to help you avoid further consequences from your arrest. I can help you determine whether or not you are eligible to seal your record. Don't wait — call KRP Law, LLC today to set up a consultation and learn more about your options.