- New juvenile sealing policy (January 2024)
- From October 2018, waiting times for sealing CORI are shorter
- Level 2 and 3 sex offenders may be able to seal their CORI in the future
- You may be able to seal past marijuana cases immediately
- Get your license back right away after some drug convictions
- Sealing cases if your case was dismissed, ended in a nolle prosequi or a not guilty finding is now easier!
- Get Juvenile Cases off your CORI!
Reviewed January 2024
Reviewed January 2024
New juvenile sealing policy
As of January 2024, the Commissioner of Probation changed its interpretation of the juvenile sealing law. They will no longer allow juvenile court youthful offender cases to be sealed using the juvenile record process.
This means that you will need to wait at least 7 years instead of 3 years to seal felony cases that were in juvenile court. It also means that some records will now be treated as never sealable.
If you have a problem sealing your juvenile court youthful offender record, call Greater Boston Legal Services, 617-371-1234. Ask for intake.
Reviewed October 2018
October 15, 2018
- 5 year waiting to seal misdemeanors reduced to 3 years,
- 10 year waiting for felony sealing reduced to 7 years,
- Resisting arrest convictions can now be sealed,
- Felony larceny threshold increased from $250 to $1200,
- After you seal, you can say you have “no record” when applying for housing and occupational licenses, not just when applying for jobs, and
- Some juvenile and adult expungement are now available.
Created October 2017
October 20, 2017
The SJC recently decided a case which said the law that stopped people, who were no longer in the sex offender registry but were previously level 2 and level 3 sex offenders, from ever sealing their sex offense cases was unconstitutional. This means in the future some people who are no longer in the registry will be able to seal their cases if there is no danger to public safety.
Created December 2016
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 July 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 March 6, 2013
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" .
Reviewed July 2016
Get free legal help with your CORI
Find Legal Aid
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.
- Coming Home Directory - resources for people with CORI
- CORI Basics: Criminal Record Sealing, Expungement & Related Issues
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