The law has changed, and you may qualify for an expungement. Expungement means totally wiping out any evidence of the event. A criminal record, whether juvenile or adult, can follow you forever if it has personal, employment, or other collateral consequences. Expungement can close that chapter of your life for good, if you qualify.
If the Commissioner of Probation determines that a criminal record is eligible for expungement, a judge will then determine whether, in “the interests of justice”, the record can be expunged. There are two methods of expungement.
The first is a TIME-BASED EXPUNGEMENT. In order to qualify for this type of expungement (ALL):
- The offense that the record was created for must have happened before your 21stbirthday
- The offense did not result in death or serious bodily injury, nor was the offense committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury
- The offense was not committed while armed with or carrying a dangerous weapon
- The offense was not committed against an elderly or disabled person
- The offense is not a sex offense, a sex offense involving a child, or a sexually violent offense
- The offense is not Operating Under the Influence (of liquor or drugs)
- The offense is not a firearms violation or a violation for illegal sale of a firearm
- The offense is not a violation of any restraining or harassment prevention orders
- The offense is not an assault or assault and battery on a household member
- The offense is not a felony violation under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 265
- If the offense is a felony, you must have completed all parts of your sentence at least 7 years ago. If the offense is a misdemeanor, you must have completed all parts of your sentence at least three years ago.
- You must not have any other criminal or juvenile court appearances or dispositions on file (other than motor vehicle offenses where the penalty is no more than a $500 fine)
The second is a NON-TIME BASED EXPUNGEMENT. A person in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts qualifies for a non-time-based expungement if their criminal record was created based on:
- False use of your identification
- Unauthorized use of your identity
- Theft of your identity
- Offense(s) that is/are no longer a crime (i.e. possessing small amounts of marijuana)
- Errors by law enforcement
- Errors by civilian or expert witness(es)
- Errors by court employees
- Fraud perpetrated upon the court
IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE WISH TO EXPUNGE A RECORD, AND YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER WORKING TO ON YOUR SIDE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, PLEASE CONTACT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY WILLIAM J. BARABINO.
CALL 781-393-5900 TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AVAILABLE DEFENSES.