Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Can I Expunge a Criminal Conviction in Massachusetts?

Unlike some other states, Massachusetts does not have an Expungement statute.  It is not possible to expunge a conviction in Massachusetts.  In fact, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently ruled again in Commonwealth v. Moe 463 Mass. 370 (2012) that the Court lacks the authority to order a record expunged, even where the resulting record is the result of fraud on the Court.

It is sometimes possible to reopen a trial and undo a conviction, but this can only be done in very specific circumstances, and the arrest will still appear on your record.  Attorney Trask was successful in one case in reopening a juvenile conviction from almost thirty years earlier and thereafter having the charges dismissed based on the client's clean record since.  While the original conviction is no longer on the record, the charge is not expunged.

It is sometimes possible to seal a record, so that access to the record is prevented from certain requests.  For more information on that possibility read our previous post entitled: Can I Seal My Criminal Record in Massachusetts?

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