The process to seal a felony
Sometimes good people find themselves in bad situations that can have far-reaching consequences. However, new criminal justice reform in Massachusetts means that many people can put their past behind them and “seal” a criminal record for a fresh start. The purpose of the record-sealing provisions is to promote access to employment, housing, and other opportunities that are necessary for the rehabilitation of defendants and to protect the privacy of individuals.
If you are convicted of a felony, with the exception of murder, manslaughter, and level two and three sex offenses, it can be sealed in seven years. The clock to seal begins at release from incarceration or custody, or from the end of any probation period, not at the time of sentencing. While sealing does not destroy the record altogether, it does keep your criminal offender record information (CORI) out of the hands of employers, landlords, and the general public. The information will not be accessible, so for all practical purposes, the negative effects of the felony will not hold you back from accomplishing milestones and moving forward with your life.