How do I have a larceny misdemeanor sealed?

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How do I have a larceny misdemeanor sealed?

It is a 10 year-old charge and my only charge (larceny under $250). How do I go about having it sealed so employers don’t see it when they request a criminal record?

Asked on November 17, 2010 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First of all, when a record is sealed, it is not generally viewable by the general public. So, for example, if most employers order a copy of your CORI (criminal record), it will read "no adult criminal records on file" (although law enforcement and the courts can still view your record).  Furthermore, if your records are sealed, you can answer "No" if an employer asks if you have a criminal record. However there are waiting periods to bring a petition to seal a criminal record which depend upon the type of case, particularly if a conviction is involved. Generally, the waiting period for a misdemeanor conviction is 10 years from the date that the matter reached its "final disposition" (this is the later of when the case ended in court or the end of any period of probation).

The court has to grant the petition to seal a particular record and there is a procedure to follow.  First you will have to fill out a "Petition To Seal" and follow all steps legally required.  For more information regarding this here is a link that you will find to be of help: http://www.masslegalhelp.org/cori/sealing.  

Understand, however, there are various laws and statutes which govern the sealing of criminal records.  It can be done without a lawyer but the whole process can be tedious, time-consuming, and technical.  You just may want to retain an experienced defense attorney to help you.


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