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, s. 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, s. 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)