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Sealing Criminal Records

A criminal record (known as a CORI in Massachusetts), can have far-reaching consequences. It can negatively affect a person’s employment, housing, student-loan eligibility and other important interests. The negative effects are sometimes not clear until years later. The lingering impact of a criminal record can be felt whether someone has been convicted of a crime, received a continuation without a finding, had a case dismissed, or was acquitted at trial. If you have any prior criminal cases on your CORI, you should understand your options with regard to sealing. Sam Zaganjori is a Woburn sealing attorney that assists clients looking to seal their CORI.

Sealing a Criminal Record in Massachusetts

In 2012, Massachusetts law changed to make it easier for someone to seal their CORI. In many cases, a misdemeanor conviction can be sealed virtually automatically after five years. Many felony convictions can be sealed after ten years.

Significantly, Massachusetts allows for discretionary sealing in non-conviction cases. This means that a defendant can ask a judge to seal his record immediately after the conclusion of a case. The judge has the authority the seal the record immediately if he or she finds that sealing would serve “substantial justice.” The Supreme Judicial Court, the highest court in Massachusetts, has made it clear that the law was changed to make it easier for someone to seal their CORI.

Sealing a CORI reduces the ability of most employers, landlords and other interested parties from seeing a prior criminal case when they run a background check on an applicant. It also seals the case file at the courthouse so that it is no longer accessible to the public. Importantly, when a record is sealed, a job applicant is legally permitted to answer “no record” on a job application that asks about prior arrests or criminal court appearances.

Seal Your CORI with an Experienced Massachusetts Sealing Attorney

A person seeking discretionary sealing of their CORI must typically file a petition to seal under M.G.L.c. 276, s. 100C. Drafting, filing and arguing a petition to seal can be a complicated process. The defendant must file the petition with the criminal clerk’s office where it must be publicly posted for at least seven days. Depending on the nature and complexity of the case, preparation of the petition may require in-depth legal writing, drafting of an affidavit, and a hearing before a judge to make your case.

Attorney Zaganjori has successfully handled petitions to seal in the Superior Court, District Court and Juvenile Court. He prepares detailed petitions so that the judge can get a complete picture of the client’s background. He will explain the process to the client and make sure the matter is handled quickly and effectively.

Call an Aggressive CORI-Sealing Attorney

Attorney Sam Zaganjori is a Woburn sealing attorney. He represents clients throughout eastern Massachusetts. He offers a free consultation. He will take the time to honestly explain your options with regard to sealing your CORI. He will explain the process and the best course of action. He will aggressively pursue your petition to seal. If you have a criminal record in Massachusetts, call him today at 781-496-2848.