What to do if I had a felony dropped to a misdemeanor but the original felony still shows?

UPDATED: Oct 21, 2014

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What to do if I had a felony dropped to a misdemeanor but the original felony still shows?

I have a misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia from 5 1/2 years ago. At the time, I was told that it would be a felony but after 6 mos of probation would drop to a misdemeanor. It wasn’t until I talked to the probation officer that I found out that if someone looked at my record they would see that it had been a felony, then dropped to a misdemeanor. With 5 yrs having gone by, how does my record look, to potential landlords, employers, and when I have a background check done if I want to go on my kindergartener’s field trips? I used to be in banking. Could I be cleared to do that, be bonded?

Asked on October 21, 2014 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you did a background check on yourself you are a smart cookie.  It is the only way to know how you will look to the outside world.  If the final disposition was as you say then you need to get a copy of the Certificate of Disposition (that is what we call it in New York) that says officially what the result was.  You are going to need it to help correct the records you are looking at.  Now remember that the arrest record will be different from the final disposition so if that is where you see the felony then you may need to focus on having that altered. You seem to have moved on from this mistake and are an upstanding guy so now you need to get help to clear this up.  There are lawyers that specialize in it.  Consult with one. Good luck.

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