Last Updated January 2017
Tuesday 13 December, 2016
Voters approved a ballot question that made possession of small amounts of marijuana legal. The new law goes into effect December 15, 2016. It allows anyone over age 21 to have small amounts of marijuana at home and to carry up to two ounces without criminal penalties. G.L. c. 94G, § 13(e).
1. What is the effect of the new law on past criminal cases for marijuana possession?
The Massachusetts sealing law lets you seal crimes that are no longer criminal offenses. G.L. c 276, § 100A. If you have a past criminal case for marijuana possession and the case involved only 2 ounces or less of marijuana, you can seal the possession case now instead of having to wait for the waiting period to expire. The new law covers only charges for “possession” and not “possession with the intent to distribute” or other drug crimes.
If you were arrested for possession of marijuana because you had marijuana plants in your home, you also can seal your case without waiting any longer if the conviction was for:
- up to 6 plants in the home if you lived alone at the time, or
- up to 12 plants if one or more other persons (age 21 or over) lived with you.
2. Where do I get the paperwork to request sealing of a decriminalized offense?
Created December 2016
Wednesday 6 July, 2016
The law has changed.
If you lost your driver's license because you were convicted of a drug offense that was not "trafficking", now
- You can get your license back right away.
- You do not have to pay the $500 reinstatement fee.
The new law only applies to drug convictions. It does not apply to DUI or alcohol offenses.
Created July 2016
Easier to seal some cases!
Greater Boston Legal Services just made it easier to seal your case if it was dismissed, ended in a nolle prosequi or a not guilty finding! You can file another petition to seal it in court.
Friday, 15 August, 2014
If you show “good cause” to seal your records, a judge can seal cases that ended in:
- a dismissal,
- nolle prosequi - if the district attorney dropped the case, or
- a not guilty finding.
If a judge denied your petition to seal in the past, you can ask to apply the new "good cause" standard to your case. You will have to file another petition in court. But it should be easier to seal your CORI now since you only have to show "good cause."
Soon we will publish:
- sample forms, and
- instructions for asking a judge to apply the new standard to sealing your case.
Greater Boston Legal Services' went to court and won. You now have the right to ask a judge to seal some CORI if you can show "good cause" .
Created March 6, 2013
If your Juvenile Court Youthful Offender case ended so that
- you went to state prison or the House of Corrections, or
- you were on probation after age 21 for this case,
this juvenile case will be listed on your CORI.
Youth offender cases have a “YO” in the docket number. Greater Boston Legal Services is trying to do something about this problem.
What to do?
If you do not want these juvenile cases listed on your CORI, call
Greater Boston Legal Services
Last Updated July 2016
Last Updated July 2016
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You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.
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- March 14, 2017
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