Massachusetts CORI Reform -and Sealing Criminal Records
In July 2010, Massachusetts passed a law restricting access to criminal records and amending the waiting period for sealing criminal records. The majority of the law, as passed in 2010, goes into effect on May 4, 2012.
Employer Access to CORI
In sum, employers are no longer able to access records of criminal offenses beyond five (5) years for misdemeanor offenses and ten (10) years for felony offenses. The clock starts for either offense at the time of release from custody or, for purposes of only a probationary sentence, on the date of disposition. Violations of a domestic violence protection order will be considered felony offenses in terms of look back period and employers will have permanent access to offenses for murder, manslaughter and sex offenses.
Employers will have access to any case disposed of as a CWOF until such time as the case has been dismissed, thereafter, the case will be considered a “non-conviction” and treated as such. Additionally, employer access is permissible for pending cases and thereafter determined by prior specifications.
A person’s full CORI record is available as long as the last conviction is still available for dissemination.
A potential employer is prevented from questioning any candidate regarding their criminal history on the initial written application unless that information is required for a particular job. If the hiring decision is in part based upon a CORI search, the employer is required to convey that information and provide the report upon which that decision was made.
SEALING CRIMINAL RECORDS
Five (5) years for misdemeanor offenses
Ten (10) years for felony offense
Violations of 209A (Abuse Prevention Orders) are treated as felony offense for purposes of sealing
No sealing of records if considered a sex offender
Crimes against public justice are not subject to sealing. Such convictions include, but are not limited to, perjury, witness intimidation, resisting arrest, and firearm offenses.
While you may be successful in sealing your record, access is still granted to a sealed record in limited circumstances.
If you are interested in trying to seal your record, please contact Attorney Kristen Bonavita at (978) 376 – 6746.
For more information, please reference the following site: