Law Office of Richard M. Russell
197 Palmer Avenue
Falmouth, Massachusetts 02540

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Sealing a Criminal Record

Sealing a Criminal Record on Cape Cod (Falmouth)
Massachusetts law permits certain persons to have their criminal records "sealed."

Records may be sealed for persons whose record reflects (1) misdemeanor convictions  that occurred more than three years before a request to seal a record (including any related period of incarceration) or (2) felony convictions that occurred more than seven years before the request (including any related period of incarceration). The person seeking to have a record sealed must not have been convicted (or incarcerated) of any other offense--in any state--within the preceding three or seven years, respectively.

Records that include convictions for offenses under sections 121 to 131H of chapter 140 (generally sale of firearms), under chapter 268 (crimes against public justice, e.g., perjury), and chapter 268A (public officials and public employees) may not be sealed. Convictions for sex offenses are subject to more strict requirements.

Following sealing, any criminal record provided to a potential employer, housing authority administrator, or occupational or professional license administrator will indicate "no record." Sealed records may, however, be used is certain future court appearances. In this respect, sealing should not be confused with expungement.

The relevant statute can be found here.

You can obtain a copy of your Massachusetts adult criminal record here.

You can learn more about the consequences of criminal convictions here.