Criminal Record Expungement and Sealing

Contact:

Office of the Commissioner of Probation

Phone: (617) 727-5300

Fax: (617) 727-8483

Address: 1 Ashburton Place
Room 405
Boston, MA 02108

Find out if you can expunge your criminal record

Having a criminal record expunged means that the record will be permanently destroyed so that it’s no longer accessible by the court or any other state, municipal, or county agencies. It’s not the same as having a record sealed.

Who can expunge their record?

There are 2 different types of expungement you can qualify for.

Time-based expungement

To qualify for time-based expungement:

  • The offense that the record was created for must have happened before your 21st birthday 
  • The offense must be one that qualifies for expungement under G.L. c.276, § 100E-100U (added by St. 2018, c. 69). For an offense to qualify, it must meet all of these criteria:
    • The offense didn’t result in death or serious bodily injury nor was the offense committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury
    • The offense wasn’t committed while armed with or carrying a dangerous weapon
    • The offense wasn’t committed against an elderly or disabled person
    • The offense isn’t a sex offense, a sex offense involving a child, or sexually violent offense
    • The offense isn’t Operating Under the Influence (of liquor or drugs)
    • The offense isn’t a firearms violation or a violation for illegal sale of a firearm
    • The offense isn’t a violation of any restraining or harassment prevention orders
    • The offense isn’t an assault or assault and battery on a household member; and
    • The offense isn’t a felony violation of G.L. c. 265
  • If the offense is a felony, you must have completed all parts of your sentence at least 7 years ago. If the offense is a misdemeanor, you must have completed all parts of your sentence at least 3 years ago.
  • You must not have any other criminal or juvenile court appearances or dispositions on file (other than motor vehicle offenses where the penalty is no more than a $50 fine).
Non-time-based expungement

Additionally, the law allows you to expunge a record if the record was created based on:

  • False use of your identification
  • Unauthorized use of your identity
  • Theft of your identity
  • Offense(s) that is/are no longer a crime (i.e. possessing small amounts of marijuana)
  • Errors by law enforcement
  • Errors by civilian or expert witness(es)
  • Errors by court employees
  • Fraud perpetrated upon the court

What are my rights after expunging my record?

After your record is expunged, you can’t be found guilty of perjury or of giving a false statement by not acknowledging your record if anyone inquires about it. You can say that you have no record after expungement. 

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