Never sealable crimes

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Greater Boston Legal Services

Are there some crimes that can never be sealed?

Yes. Some convictions can never be sealed in Massachusetts:

  • Some firearms offenses, like selling; ammunition or a gun without a firearms license, or buying a gun from an unlicensed dealer. (G.L. 140, § § 121-131H)
  • “Crimes against the Public,” like resisting arrest, perjury, witness intimidation, or aiding escape from jail. (G.L. c. 268)
  • State Ethics Act violations like bribes to public officials. (G.L. c. 268A)
  • If you are now registered as a sex offender, you are permitted to seal other cases that do not involve sex offenses if you meet all the other requirements to seal the cases. 
  • If you are or were ever a Level 2 or Level 3 sex offender, the law says you can never seal convictions for certain sex offenses like assault with intent to rape, drugging a person for sex, rape of a child and other sex offenses, as defined by Section 178C of Chapter 6 of the Mass. General Laws.
    • Once you are no longer required to register as a sex offender, you might be able to bring a lawsuit that argues that as applied to you the law is unconstitutional and you should be able to seal your sex offenses. This is complicated so talk to a lawyer for help. 


Previously, convictions for resisting arrest were never sealable offenses, but the law changed in 2018 and these convictions can now be sealed.

If your case for one of these never sealable crimes was dismissed or there was a “not guilty” finding or a nolle prosequi (dropping of the case), the case can be sealed. Only convictions for these charges can never be sealed.

Even if you have a convictions that can never be sealed, you can still seal other types of cases that are eligible for sealing.

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Help with CORI sealing
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Use the Legal Resource Finder to find free legal help to seal your CORI, including CORI sealing clinics on Zoom.


Learn more about CORI
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Download self-help booklets about CORI, including CORI sealing, prepared by Greater Boston Legal Services.

The Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services has information, links to CORI forms, and more.



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