Petition to Seal Criminal Records (CORI)

Petition to Seal Criminal Records

Criminal convictions can hang over your head and hinder you from taking positive steps in moving your life forward. Criminal records are often checked by potential employers when applying for a job, the admissions board and financial aid office when applying for college and student loans, officers and banks distributing private loans, and even landlords and realtors before leasing an apartment. In short, criminal convictions can continue to affect many areas of your life. It may feel as if you are stuck paying for past mistakes. However, in many cases, there is legal recourse available, by sealing your criminal records so they do not appear on a CORI statement. It may be possible to seal your criminal records even if your have pled guilty or have actually been convicted of a crime. You don't have to let a criminal record complicate every aspect of your life. Sealing your criminal records can help you move forward.

The criminal defense attorneys at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. have successfully brought many motions (sometimes called "petitions") to seal CORI records, in a wide range of underlying criminal cases. Call our criminal defense lawyers today at 617-225-2100. We have offices in Boston, Cambridge, and Quincy. We serve criminal clients in every court in Greater Boston, throughout Massachusetts and New England.

Should You Seal Your CORI Records?

If at all possible under the law, it is nearly always a good idea to seal your criminal records. The criminal defense attorneys at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. have successfully petitioned the court to seal many criminal charges, including theft, burglary, arson, weapons violations, drug charges and possession, assault, and many others. Call our criminal defense lawyers today to discuss your options and regain your life without criminal convictions constantly following you.

Wipe The Slate Clean And Have NO Criminal Record On Background Checks

After our criminal defense attorneys successfully bring a motion to seal your criminal records before the court, a search into your records by the Massachusetts Criminal History Systems Board will show no criminal record. This opens many new doors and lifts many potential burdens. For example, on job applications, you can now officially, and legally, state that you have never been charged or arrested for a criminal offense (even though, in reality, you have). There will be no "red flag" showing your record was sealed or that there was a past conviction. It will be a clean slate.

Potential employers, information agencies, and others seeking your criminal background use the Massachusetts Criminal History Systems Board to perform background checks. Since your CORI is sealed, it will show no criminal convictions or arrests.

You Can't Afford To Wait 10 Or 15 YEARS To Have Your Records Sealed

For many criminal offenses, sealing a criminal record is a matter of right. However, pursuant to the current law, it takes a staggering 10 years after the final disposition of a misdemeanor and 15 years after the final disposition of a felony. "Final disposition" includes completing any parole after being released from jail. You can't afford 10-15 years of missed job opportunities, rejection from college, and failed housing applications.

Luckily, a judge does have the authority to order the sealing of CORI for individual cases, before the above timelines. The judge will balance the hardship experienced by the former offender against the public policy concerns of an open record. It takes experienced, successful criminal defense attorneys to persuade a judge that you have been rehabilitated and should now be able to move forward with your life. Our attorneys have successfully handled numerous petitions to seal CORI, long before the number of years set by the law.

Recent Changes In Massachusetts Law Regarding Petitions To Seal Criminal Records

After the 2010 Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruling in Commonwealth v. Boe, 456 Mass. 337, it has become virtually impossible to have a criminal record completely expunged, which was previously only allowed to correct obvious injustices done to a defendant (essentially, recognizing that charges themselves should have never been brought). However, the case maintained that judges can seal criminal records, pursuant to M.G.L. c. 276, § 100C.

Additionally, pursuant to the Massachusetts CORI Reform Bill of 2010, codified at M.G.L. c. 276, § 100A, a defendant who pleads guilty or admits to sufficient facts and receives a "continuance without finding" with probation can now petition the court to seal CORI records after only 5 years for misdemeanors and 10 years for felonies, beginning May 4, 2012.

Don't let criminal charges hinder your life any longer than they already have. Call the criminal defense attorneys at Bellotti Law today to begin the process of moving on. The criminal defense lawyers at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. serve Greater Boston, Cambridge, Quincy, Braintree, the South Shore, and all of Massachusetts. Our offices are located in Boston, Cambridge, and Quincy. Contact us today at 617-225-2100. You can also contact us through our online form and we will promptly respond.

Client Reviews
I hired Peter as my attorney for a very complicated case involving misidentification for an A&B case. Peter set expectations from day one and stuck to his plan. The case ended up going to a jury trial. Peter was thoroughly prepared and was able to prove the misidentification and won the case with a not guilty verdict on all counts… I would highly recommend the Bellotti Law Group to anyone who needs a lawyer.
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Peter Bellotti is an outstanding lawyer. I am a professional who has never been in trouble with the law and I was arrested and charged under some very unfortunate circumstances. I was devastated and talked to numerous different high-rated criminal defense attorneys. Among them Peter Bellotti stood out, he seemed to genuinely care about my case and fully understand my concerns about my reputation… My case was dismissed and I would recommend him to anyone who needs top quality legal representation.
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I am an anxious person by nature and when I was arrested last year I thought that my life was over. The charges were very serious and I felt helpless, devastated and embarrassed…After explaining the circumstances that led to my arrest, Attorney Bellotti told me that "the charges, while serious, were defensible…” Peter was the 4th lawyer that I met with and I am so lucky to have had him on my side. I will always be grateful to Peter and I would highly, highly, highly recommend him to anyone looking for an intelligent, creative, determined and skilled attorney.
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Peter Bellotti successfully managed not one, but three complex legal situations for me. He combines superb legal insight and instincts with unrelenting energy and authentic compassion in the service of his clients. Finding him was was one of the most fortunate events of my life. Talk to him before deciding on an attorney.
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