CORI Sealing Laws Receive Needed Update on Oct. 14, 2018
Back on April 13, 2018, Gov. Charlie Baker signed the Criminal Justice Reform Act which supplied much needed changes to numerous aspects of criminal justice here in Massachusetts. Many of the provisions of the Act, however, did not go into effect immediately.
This coming Sunday, October 14th, the provisions regarding CORI Sealing and what employers are allowed to seek during the hiring process go into effect. Here is a quick cheat sheet of the changes that are happening:
- Expungement is now an option for certain misdemeanor offenses committed before the defendant turned 21 years old. Prior to this change, Massachusetts only allowed records to be expunged if there was fraud or court error (meaning the record was not actually yours);
- The time period required to have a case sealed has been reduced from 10 to 7 years for felonies, and from 5 to 3 years for misdemeanors;
- Adults may now move to seal a conviction for resisting arrest;
- The time period for which an employer can request information regarding a person’s conviction of a misdemeanor has been decreased from 5 years to 3 years prior to the date of an application for employment;
- Employers are also prohibited from requesting information regarding sealed or expunged records;
- Employers are also restricted from inquiring about a first offense of any of the following misdemeanor offenses: public drunkenness, simple assault, speeding, minor traffic violations, or disturbing the peace;
These changes signal a much needed boon for many workers in MA who find themselves continuously dealing with past mistakes years later. A large portion of the population have some kind of criminal record, a single encounter with the criminal justice system being enough to keep most individuals from repeating bad behavior for the rest of their lives.
Equitas Law often gets inquiries from people who are seeking to mitigate their criminal history and move forward with their lives. Our attorneys are always up-to-date on the latest changes in the law. If you have a criminal record that you think may prevent you from getting a job, housing, or other important opportunity, contact us for a free consultation at (617) 723-4163. We can help put you back on track.
For a complete .pdf of the Act's text, see the Mass.gov website.