Overview Description

Records of a sex offense conviction can be sealed by the commissioner of probation 15 years after sentence completion, if the petitioner meets the specified criteria. ALM GL ch. 276, § 100A(6).

Ineligible Category or Citation

See ineligible offenses at ALM GL ch 276, section 100A(6). Persons presently registered as sex offenders cannot seal their sex offense convictions. Individuals who were ever registered as Level 2 or Level 3 sex offenders can never seal their sex offense convictions.

Procedure General

The petition form must be filed with the commissioner of probation. The petition can be mailed or hand-delivered. For the specific procedure, see ALM GL ch. 276, § 100A.

Fees

There is no fee.

Effect

Sealed records will not disqualify the person from public service or employment by the state. The person can tell prospective employers they have no criminal record, and court officials report that no record exists. The sealed record is not admissible and cannot be used in court or most other proceedings, though law enforcement retains access to sealed records. ALM GL ch. 276, §§ 100A, 100C, 100D.

Certain child-welfare related agencies and employers are given access to sealed records. ALM GL ch. 6, §§ 172B, 172F.

The sealing of records has no effect on access to Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) records.

Forms

For a petition to seal records in Massachusetts, visit here.

Waiting Periods

The petition can be filed with the commissioner of probation 15 years after sentence completion if the petitioner was never registered as a Level 2 or 3 sex offender.

(non-prod server)