There are different eligibility requirements for sealing criminal records depending on whether or not there was a conviction.
Sealing conviction records
The conviction sealing process is governed by MGL c. 276, § 100A. You can ask the Massachusetts Probation Service (MPS) to seal some criminal convictions. You can ask to seal a criminal record under these circumstances:
- Misdemeanor — 3 years after you were found guilty or after any jail or prison time, whichever date is later.
- Felony — 7 years after you were found guilty or after any jail or prison time, whichever date is later.
Additionally, you can move to seal a conviction for resisting arrest.
Sealing records without convictions
The non-conviction sealing process is governed by MGL c. 276, § 100C. You can ask the court where the offense originated to request to seal a criminal court record without a conviction for the following case results:
- Not guilty finding by a court or a jury
- No bill returned by a grand jury (failure to indict)
- No probable cause finding by a court
- Dismissal without probation entered by a court
- Nolle prosequi entered (entry on the record of no further prosecution by the prosecutor)