Being accused of a crime is overwhelming in and of itself.
You may be worried about your freedom if you are ultimately convicted of such a crime. Failing to take appropriate action by hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is one way to put yourself in harm’s way for being accused and convicted of a crime. If you have already been convicted of a crime, your concerns should then turn to whether or not an appeal is appropriate for you, or whether or not your case could ultimately be eligible for sealing your record. Only certain situations can lead to your record being sealed.
People with criminal records often face numerous obstacles throughout their daily lives, even if the criminal offenses happened long ago and the punishment has already been dealt with. Massachusetts statutes do allow for the sealing of a criminal record to prevent other people from knowing that you have a criminal history. Information included in your criminal record can include every arraignment, dismissal of charges, or even a not guilty finding.
Whether misdemeanor or felony charges were brought against you, then this matter will appear on your criminal record. Sometimes the proceedings, however, will not appear on your criminal record such as the issuance of a restraining order, or reports of child neglect or abuse. You may be able to seal your criminal record under three particular circumstances and you should have a criminal defense attorney at your side to help you in each of these. These include:
- After a certain waiting period, including five years after a misdemeanor, ten years after a felony and 15 years after a sex offense.
- Dismissals without probation and a not-guilty finding could be sealed immediately.
- Any recorded offense that is no longer classified as a crime under Massachusetts law can also be sealed.
Your willingness to take prompt action and use your criminal defense attorney’s extensive experience in this field can make a big difference in your ability to avoid these crimes and possible consequences in the future. Find the right lawyer to help you if you already have something on your criminal record.