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Who can benefit from record expungement in Massachusetts?
Some past mistakes can continue to haunt us for years to come in the form of a criminal record. If there is something on your record then you have likely experienced difficulty with getting jobs, apartments, or even obtaining a loan. Perhaps you have been looking into going back to school but can’t get FAFSA loans because of your criminal record. Not all hope is lost, you can get your criminal record removed through expungement.
Expungement is a complex process involving mounds of paperwork, varying timelines, and court appearances. An experienced criminal defense attorney can walk you through the expungement process, so you don’t have to navigate it alone. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Richard Mucci are skilled in Massachusetts record expungements. Call us today at 781-729-3999 for a free consultation.
What is record expungement under Massachusetts law?
Record expungement is the act of permanently deleting a person’s record. When the court expunges a record, it no longer exists. After a record is expunged, you can confidently say you do not have a criminal record without the fear or facing perjury charges. Expungement is not the same as a sealed record. Although a sealed record is not available to the public or any persons without a court order, a sealed record still exists.
Massachusetts is one of the states where record expungement is possible under certain circumstances. There are two different types of expungement under Massachusetts law: time-based expungement and non-time-based expungement.
In Massachusetts, expungements are governed by G.L. c.276, § 100E-100U. If there is a felony or misdemeanor on your record, you must meet all the criteria under time-based expungement to qualify for record expungement. A criminal record seeking expungement under time-based expungement must meet all the criteria enumerated under the time-based expungement statute. Some of the criteria required under Time-Based Expungement include:
- No more than two criminal records
- The offense didn’t result in serious bodily injury or death
- The offense wasn’t committed while armed with or carrying a dangerous weapon
- The offense wasn’t committed against an elderly or disabled person
In essence, a misdemeanor charge is expunged under Massachusetts law as long as you have completed all parts of your sentence at least three years ago. If you have a felony on your record, you are still eligible for expungement. However, seven years must have passed since the completion of the sentence associated with your felony.
Non-time-based expungement is for those who have a felony or misdemeanor on their record at no fault of their own. A felony or misdemeanor that falls under non-time-based expungement must be based on one or more of the following:
- Identity theft
- Unauthorized use of your identity
- Fraud on behalf of the court
- Errors on behalf of law enforcement, civilians, expert witnesses, or court employees
- Offenses that are no longer a crime
How a criminal defense attorney can help with your expungement
An experienced expungement attorney is highly beneficial in ensuring your expungement is completed correctly. In Massachusetts, you need to petition the Commissioner of Probation directly. The Commission of Probation will notify the DA and after the DA has had a chance to respond, you must send a petition to the court. Within 21 days of receiving your petition, the court will hold a hearing. The expungement process can be intimidating.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can:
- Handle the timelines for you to ensure you don’t miss an important deadline
- Draft and file the petition on your behalf
- Represent you at your expungement hearing
- Give you peace of mind throughout the expungement process
The skilled attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard Mucci will be with you every step of the way during your expungement process. With an expungement, you can navigate life free from the fear of background and criminal history checks. We will work tirelessly to get you the results you need. Contact us today to find out if your criminal record is eligible for expungement.