Having a criminal record can be scary. If you have one, there is a good chance that you may be worried about who can see it. Employers, schools, hospitals, and even the media might be interested in looking into your history. It is important to understand what the law in Massachusetts says about how private a criminal record really is.
The law says that any person or group can request to see another person’s CORI or criminal record. However, the amount of information that person will be able to see will depend on their category of access. This means that the amount of information that may be visible in a CORI record can vary.
Moreover, there are many different categories of access, based on the type of person requesting to see the CORI. Here is a list:
If you are trying to view your own CORI this is called Personal Access. You will be able to see all adult convictions and non-convictions, pending cases, and all civil cases and non-jailable offenses that can only be punished by a fine. Anything that is sealed or expunged or is a youthful offender or juvenile offense will not be visible.
Banks, hospitals, and insurance companies belong to the Required 1 category. They are able to see all adult convictions and pending cases. However, they do not see any charges sealed or expunged, as well as no youthful offender, civil, or non-jailable offenses. They will also not see any “Not Guilty” or “Continued Without a Finding” charges.
The next level is Required 2 access. Required 2 is for K-12 schools, religious organizations, and retirement homes. Under this category, all adult convictions, non-convictions, and pending cases are visible. Charges sealed, expunged, juvenile, youthful offender, civil, or non-jailable are not visible.
Summer camps for children fall under Required 3. They may see all adult convictions and non-convictions, and youthful offender, juvenile offender, pending cases, and sealed offenses. Anything expunged or civil or non-jailable will not show.
Early Education and Child Care facilities belong to Required 4. Required 4 access shows all adult convictions and non-convictions and youthful offender, juvenile offender, pending cases, and sealed offenses. Any charges expunged or are civil or non-jailable will not appear.
Companies that hire employees have general or Standard Access. Under this category, all murder, manslaughter, or sex offense convictions are visible. All pending cases and convictions are visible if the offender:
Employers will not see non-convictions (except not guilty by reason of insanity findings), misdemeanor convictions dated more than 5 years prior to the request, and felony convictions dated 10 years or more after the request date. Juvenile, sealed, expunged, civil, and non-jailable offenses are also invisible.
Police departments and courts fall under the category of Criminal Justice Agency/Law Enforcement Access. With this access all adult, youthful offender, and juvenile offender convictions, non-convictions, pending cases, and sealed offenses are visible. Expunged offenses are not.
The general public, including the media, belong to the Open Access category. They may view adult offenses that:
Anything that does not fall within these rules is not accessible to the general public.
Arrest records are not the same as CORI records. Arrest records are only available to:
IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT A CORI OR A CRIMINAL RECORD, AND YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER WORKING 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.