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Massachusetts Expungement Law

Expungement of Criminal Records – General – Massachusetts

There is no provision for expunging convictions in Massachusetts. G.L.c. 276, § 100C contains provisions for immediate sealing of adult records in cases involving acquittal or dismissal of criminal charges, whereas G.L.c. 276 § 100A provides for sealing of adult records after a ten to fifteen year waiting period. G.L.c. 276, § 100C and G.L.c. 276, § 100A allows a person to state that no record exists upon an employment application and prevents the sealed records from disqualifying the subject person from public employment. However, G.L.c. 276, § 100C provides that after a finding or verdict of guilty on a subsequent offense such sealed record shall be made available to the probation officer and the same, with the exception of a not guilty, a no bill, or a no probable cause, shall be made available to the court.

Juveniles must wait three years to have records sealed under G.L.c. 276, § 100B. There must be no adjudications of delinquency or guilt of oter vrimes during the three year period. If the records are sealed, they may not be used to disqualify the subject person from public employment, but may be used in imposing sentence for subsequent offenses in delinquency or criminal proceedings.

Pardoned convictions may be sealed under G.L.c. 127, § 152. Upon approval of a petition for pardon, the governor shall direct all officers to seal all records relating to the offense for which the person received the pardon. Such sealed records shall not disqualify a person in any examination, appointment or application for employment or other benefit, public or private, including, but not limited to, licenses, credit or housing, nor shall such sealed record be admissible in evidence or used in any way in any court proceeding or hearing before any board, commission or other agency except in imposing sentence in subsequent criminal proceedings. Such sealed records may not be used in employment applications.

G.L.c. 94C, § 44 also provides for the sealing of records dealing with controlled substances violations of sec. 34. Upon acquittal, dismissal or indictment nolle prossed, the court shall order all official records relating to the arrest, indictment, conviction, continuance or discharge to be sealed; provided, however, that departmental records maintained by police and other law enforcement agencies which are not public records shall not be sealed.

Certain erroneous felony convictions may be expunged under G.L.c. 258D, § 7.

Inside Massachusetts Expungement Law