Petitions to Seal

Boston Lawyers: Motions To Seal Criminal Records

A criminal conviction can create difficulties later in life when you  are applying for a job, for financial aid, for a loan or an apartment. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be possible to seal your criminal record even if you've pled guilty to a crime or been have been convicted of one. At the Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm, our Boston attorneys regularly prepare, present and argue motions (or "petitions") to seal for clients who want to seal their criminal records.

In Massachusetts, CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) reform went into effect in May of 2012.  As a result, if a charge against you was dismissed, your chances of getting it sealed have improved, whether it was an outright dismissal, or a dismissal after a period of pre-trial probation, or a dismissal after the charge was initially continued without a finding. If you pled guilty or were found guilty of a charge, you may have to wait a certain number of years before petitioning the court to seal your record. An experienced and competent attorney can properly advise your regarding the feasibility and desirability of filing a motion to seal your criminal record. Do not, however, assume that a criminal record must follow you throughout your life.

Massachusetts Criminal Convictions You May be Able to Seal

The following is only a short -- and not exhaustive -- list of possible criminal charges you may be able to seal:

Traps for the Unwary

Most people — and actually, most criminal defense attorneys, quite frankly — are not aware of the potential pitfalls of an improperly sealed record.  At the Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm, we have been successfully filing petitions to seal on behalf of our clients for well over a decade.  Before proceeding with a petition to seal, we insist on investigating the status of our clients' criminal records, to ensure their accuracy.  There are certified copies of court documents that must be obtained.  There are also preliminary steps that must be taken with governmental bureaucracies before proceeding.  If you consult with another lawyer who advises you that the sealing process is quick and easy, you may be falling into a trap.  Call us to get our perspective based upon our training, experience and knowledge.

What a Sealed Criminal Record Means

Once your criminal record is sealed — and assuming that you have no other criminal history — a search conducted by the Massachusetts Criminal History Systems Board should produce the answer that you have "no criminal record." Consequently, when applying for a job, you may legally indicate on your application that you have never been convicted of any criminal offense. More importantly, you may also answer that you have never been charged or arrested for a criminal offense — even though actually you had! The Massachusetts sealing statute authorizes such an answer. Since employers and information agencies use the Criminal History Systems Board for background checks, your record will once again be clean.  Please note, however, that there may be different requirements for federal agencies and/or background checks supported by fingerprints.

Call For A Free Consultation With A Massachusetts Criminal Record Expungement Attorney

Attorney Yannetti and his associates have had considerable success in filing petitions or motions to seal and we understand what needs to be done in order to increase your chances of sealing your records. If you have questions regarding the potential sealing of your Massachusetts criminal record, contact a Boston criminal defense lawyer online, or call 617-338-6006 for a free phone consultation.

Recent Petitions to Seal:

October 19, 2012
Cambridge District Court
Docket No.1052-CR-2853
On November 9, 2010, Attorney David R. Yannetti succeeded in persuading a judge to dismiss this Domestic-Assault and Assault-and-Battery-by-means-of-a-Dangerous Weapon case against Client, a 41 year-old aspiring accountant. Client recently re-hired the Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm to petition the court to seal all records of this case. Today, Attorney Yannetti persuades the judge to seal both charges pursuant to our motion. By Massachusetts statute, Client may now answer during a background check that she has never been arrested, charged, or convicted of any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

October 9, 2012

Boston Municipal Court
West Roxbury Division
Docket No.1106-CR-2351
Client, an IT professional whose case had previously been dismissed with the help of the Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm, needed his record sealed for job-related purposes. Today, Attorney Greg L. Johnson persuades the judge to seal this Felony Assault charge. Client may now apply for jobs without having to worry that a potential employer will learn of this troubling case. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

September 27, 2012
Wrentham District Court
Docket No.1257-CR-0703
Client, a small business owner, hired the Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm to petition the court to seal his criminal record. Client was in the process of applying for ownership of a national food franchise, so he was understandably concerned that this drug-related charge would impact his application. Today, Attorney Greg L. Johnson persuades the judge to seal this case -- protecting Client's reputation and ensuring clean background checks in the future. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

August 17, 2012
Waltham District Court
Docket No. 0951-CR-1630
Client, a 28 year-old financial professional, was represented by another attorney when this shoplifting case was dismissed in 2009. Client hired the Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm to petition the court to seal all records of this case. Today, Attorney Yannetti persuades the judge to seal the case pursuant to our motion. By Massachusetts statute, Client may now answer during a background check that she has never been arrested, charged, or convicted of any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

August 17, 2012
Waltham District Court
Docket No. 0951-CR-1630
Client, an 28 year-old financial professional, was represented by another attorney when this shoplifting case was dismissed in 2009. Client hired the Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm to petition the court to seal all records of this case. Today, Attorney Yannetti persuades the judge to seal the case pursuant to our motion. By Massachusetts statute, Client may now answer during a background check that she has never been arrested, charged, or convicted of any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

July 16, 2012

Framingham District Court
Docket No. 0949-CR-0043
Client, an 36 year-old professional with a master's degree, hired the Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm to petition the court to seal her previous case, wherein she was charged with Assault and Battery by Means of Dangerous Weapon and Assault and Battery. Today, after a lengthy and contested hearing, Attorney Greg L. Johnson persuades the judge that this case should be sealed. This case will now disappear from Client's record, so her future background checks will come up clean. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

June 25, 2012
Boston Municipal Court
West Roxbury Division
Docket No. 0906-CR-1668
Client, an 44 year-old non-citizen physician was represented by another attorney when this ABDW/Threats case was dismissed in 2010. Client hired the Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm to petition the court to seal all records of this case, because we have a particular expertise in these matters. Today, Attorney Yannetti persuades the judge to seal the case pursuant to our motion. By Massachusetts statute, Client may now answer during a background check that she has never been arrested, charged, or convicted of any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

May 25, 2012
Lawrence District Court
Docket No. 1118-CR-1558
On June 17, 2011, Attorney Greg L Johnson succeeded in obtaining a dismissal of this Domestic Assault and Battery case for this Client, a 35 year-old biomedical engineer. Client recently rehired the Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm to petition the court to permanently seal all records of this case. Today, Attorney Johnson persuades the judge to order the sealing. Under MA statutory law, Client may now answer on any job application that he has never been arrested for any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

April 2, 2012
Ayer District Court
Docket No. 0948-CR-0976
On February 1, 2011, Attorney Yannetti succeeded in persuading a judge to dismiss these Aggravated Assault and Battery charges against Client, an ex-NFL football player. After suffering a recent personal tragedy which has prompted Client to consider changing his career and moving to another state, Client re-hired the Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm to petition the court to seal this matter. Today, Attorney Yannetti persuades the judge to seal all records of this case -- over the objection of the prosecution. As a matter of law, Client may now truthfully answer on any job application that he has never been arrested for, or charged with, any crime. Result: Petition to Seal Allowed.

March 13, 2012
Barnstable District Court
Docket No. 0925-CR-2028
Client, 24 year-old teacher, was found Not Guilty of Operating under the Influence of Alcohol/Liquor in 2009. After experiencing some problems during background checks, Client hired the Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm to help him to seal his criminal record. Today, Attorney Greg L. Johnson persuades the judge to seal all records of this case. As a result, this case will not appear in any background check involving a search of his C.O.R.I. Result: Petition to Seal Allowed.

March 9, 2012
Wrentham District Court
Docket No. 0957-CR-0854
Client, 39 year-old manager at a large corporation, originally hired Attorney Yannetti in 2009 to represent him on a charge of "Open and Gross, Lewd and Lascivious Behavior." The police alleged that Client entered a store with his penis fully exposed and shocked the female cashier before walking out. The whole incident was caught on video camera. On December 31, 2009, Attorney Yannetti persuaded the prosecutor and the judge to place Client on pre-trial probation. Client successfully completed that pre-trial probation and the case was dismissed in June of 2011. Client thereafter re-hired the Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm to petition the court to seal the case. Today, the prosecutor strenuously objected to the sealing of this case, arguing that the charge should remain visible on Client's record. Attorney Yannetti, however, persuades the judge to seal all records of this case over the objection of the prosecutor. As a result, this case will not appear in any background check. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

February 27, 2012

Clinton District Court
Docket No. 0568-CR-1943
Client, 40 year-old student about to graduate from nursing school, hired the Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm to petition the court to seal an old shoplifting case on her record. Today, Attorney Yannetti persuades the judge to seal all records of this case. Client may now apply for nursing positions without any fear of embarrassment that this seven-year old criminal case will be accessible to potential employers. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

January 11, 2012
Boston Municipal Court
Central Division
Docket No. 0901-CR-3288
Client, a 42 year-old professional consultant, originally hired the Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm in the aftermath of his arrest for this Domestic Assault and Battery case. On September 4, 2009, Attorney Yannetti succeeded in obtaining pre-trial probation for Client. The case was therefore dismissed against him on September 1, 2010. Several months after the dismissal, Client rehired Attorney Yannetti to petition the court to seal this case. Today, Attorney Yannetti persuades the judge to seal the case over the objection of the prosecutor. By statute, Client can now legitimately claim on any job application that he has never been charged with any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

December 21, 2011
Concord District Court
Docket Nos. 1047-CR-1333 and 1334
Clients, two 18 year-old college freshmen, were arrested in 2010 for Breaking and Entering in the Nighttime with Intent to Commit a Felony. Clients' families both hired Attorney Yannetti, who, on September 2, 2010, successfully persuaded the prosecutor and the judge to dismiss the felony charge prior to arraignment. Instead, each Client was arraigned on a simple Trespassing charge -- a misdemeanor. The Trespassing charges were then dismissed after Clients agreed to perform some community service. In 2011, Clients' parents then re-hired the Yannetti Criminal Defense Firm to petition the court to permanently seal all records so that these charges will no longer appear on the CORI of either Client. Today, Attorney Yannetti persuades the judge to seal the cases. As a result, by statute, both Clients can now truthfully state for all purposes that they have never been arrested or charged with any crime. Result: Two Cases Permanently Sealed.

August 22, 2011
Lynn District Court
Docket No. 9113-CR-7980
Client, a 48 year-old consultant, was having difficulty finding a job because this old criminal case appeared during background checks. Client therefore hired Attorney Yannetti this year to petition the court to permanently seal the file so that it will no longer appear on his CORI. Today, Attorney Yannetti persuades the judge to seal all the case. As a result, by statute, Client can now truthfully state for all purposes that he has never been arrested or charged with any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

August 15, 2011
Stoughton District Court
Docket No. 0155-CR-1334
Client, a 47 year-old business executive hired the Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm to seal a Domestic Assault and Battery charge that remained on his criminal record despite having been dismissed in 2002. Today, Attorney Yannetti persuades the judge to seal all the case. As a result, by statute, Client can now truthfully state for all purposes that he has never been arrested or charged with any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

August 12, 2011
Lynn District Court
Docket No. 1013-CR-4330
Client, a 49 year-old businessman, originally hired the Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm to represent him on this Indecent Exposure case in 2010. On November 17, 2010, Attorney Yannetti succeeded in persuading the judge and prosecutor to dismiss the case. Client rehired Attorney Yannetti this year to petition the court to permanently seal the file so that it will no longer appear on his CORI. Today, Attorney Yannetti persuades the judge to seal the case. As a result, by statute, Client can now truthfully state for all purposes that he has never been arrested or charged with any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

July 29, 2011
Lawrence District Court
Docket Nos. 0418-CR-6028, 6030, 6031, 0518-619,399, 5229 and 0618-1265
Client, a university student hoping to begin a career in finance, hired the Yannetti Criminal Defense Law Firm to seal several charges on his criminal record stemming from cases in the Lawrence District Court. Today, Yannetti Attorney Greg L. Johnson -- a former prosecutor in Lawrence -- persuades the judge to seal all of Client's criminal cases. As a result, Client can now answer on any job application that he was never arrested or charged with those crimes. Result: Cases Permanently Sealed.

December 8, 2010

Boston Municipal Court
Brighton Division
Docket No. 0608-CR-1308
Client, a prospective medical student, initially hired Attorney Yannetti in 2006 to represent her on this Disturbing the Peace case. The police had been summoned to her apartment while she was in college in Boston to investigate a noisy college party. They arrested Client, but Attorney Yannetti succeeded in persuading the prosecutor and the judge to dismiss the case against her. Recently, while she was applying for medical school, Client re-hired Attorney Yannetti to seal this case in order to reduce the chances that it would appear in university background checks. Today, Attorney Yannetti persuades the judge to seal the criminal record of this case. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

October 26, 2010

Boston Municipal Court
Central Division
Docket No. 0301-CR-5759
Client, a 25 year-old successful financial executive, was charged in 2003 with Assault and Battery on a Police Officer, Resisting Arrest, Disorderly Conduct and Threats to Commit a Crime. Six years ago, Attorney Yannetti represented Client at his jury trial for those charges, during which Attorney Yannetti exposed the arresting officer as a liar and a bully. The jury returned verdicts of "Not Guilty" on all charges in April, 2004. Recently, Client decided that having these charges remain on his CORI (Massachusetts criminal record) has led employers to question him about the case -- despite the Not Guilty verdicts. Client therefore hired Attorney Yannetti to petition the court to seal his criminal record. Today, Attorney Yannetti succeeds in having all records of this case permanently sealed. As a result, Client can now truthfully answer on any job or official application that he has never been arrested, charged or convicted of any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

September 22, 2010
Boston Municipal Court
Central Division
Docket No. 0901-CR-2635
Client, a 24 year-old Ivy League college graduate working as a consultant, was charged with Larceny over $250.00, as a result of allegations that Client had stolen over $2,000 worth of clothing from an upscale department store. In April 2009, Client hired Attorney Yannetti, who succeeded in persuading the judge to dismiss the case in December 2009. Client then rehired Attorney Yannetti to petition the court to seal her criminal record. Today, Attorney Yannetti succeeds in having all records of this case permanently sealed. As a result, Client can now truthfully answer on any job or official application that she has never been arrested, charged or convicted of any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

June 30, 2010

Cambridge District Court
Docket No. 0752-CR-1877
Client, a 35 year-old university professor, hired Attorney Yannetti to petition the court to seal this case, wherein Client had been charged with domestic assault and battery. Today, Attorney Yannetti succeeds in having all records of this case permanently sealed. As a result, Client can now truthfully answer (under Massachusetts law) on any job or official application that he has never been arrested, charged or convicted of any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

April 5, 2010
Boston Municipal Court
Central Division
Docket No. 0901-CR-2742
Client, a 24 year-old college educated woman scheduled to take her C.P.A. exam, contacted Attorney Yannetti about this case, which was dismissed back in July, 2009. Client was charged with Larceny over $250.00 as a result of allegedly stealing clothing from an upscale department store. Client hired Attorney Yannetti to make sure that this charge does not appear on her criminal record, as she was highly concerned about background checks. Today, Attorney Yannetti succeeds in having all records of this case permanently sealed. As a result, Client can now truthfully answer on any job or official application that she has never been arrested, charged or convicted of any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

January 28, 2010
Lowell District Court
Docket No. 0611-CR-0515
Client, a 26 year-old professional college graduate applying to prestigious business schools, had one blemish on her criminal record. As a result of becoming involved with a disingenuous man several years ago, Client was arrested for Sexual Conduct for a Fee. Mortified, embarrassed, and extremely concerned that this old charge might derail her future, Client initially contacted another attorney to try to expunge the charge from her record. That attorney gave bad advice to Client and failed at the expungement. Client thereafter hired Attorney Yannetti. Today, Attorney Yannetti succeeds in having all records of this case permanently sealed. As a result, Client can now truthfully answer on any job or official application that she has never been arrested, charged or convicted of any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

January 22, 2010
Boston Municipal Court
Central Division
Docket No. 0101-CR-5292
Client, a 33 year-old college graduate working for the state, had a felony charge of Assault by Means of a Dangerous Weapon on her criminal record for the last eight years. Fearing that potential future employers might hold this information against her, Client hired Attorney Yannetti to petition the court to seal this case. Today, Attorney Yannetti succeeds in having all records of this case permanently sealed. As a result, Client can now truthfully answer on any job or official application that she has never been arrested, charged or convicted of any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

October 30, 2009
Boston Municipal Court
East Boston Division
Docket No. 0805-CR-1015
Client, the local station manager for an airline, hired Attorney Yannetti in 2007 to fight charges that he had embezzled approximately $36,000.00 over the course of a year from his employer. On January 20, 2009, Attorney Yannetti persuaded a judge to allow his motion to dismiss the case. Client thereafter rehired Attorney Yannetti to petition the court to seal the case. Today, Attorney Yannetti succeeds in having all records of this case permanently sealed. As a result, Client can now truthfully answer on any job or official application that he has never been arrested, charged or convicted of any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

June 10, 2009
Malden District Court
Docket No. 0850-CR-1362
In April of this year, this case was dismissed against Client after he had been placed on pre-trial probation and was ordered to receive anger-management counseling. Shortly after the dismissal, Client contacted Attorney Yannetti to petition to seal this case. Today, Attorney Yannetti succeeded in having all records of this conviction permanently sealed. As a result, Client can now truthfully answer on any job or official application that he has never been arrested, charged or convicted of any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

June 9, 2009
Boston Municipal Court
West Roxbury Division
Docket No. 0806-CR-0847
Back on May 1, 2008, Attorney Yannetti successfully persuaded the prosecutor and the judge to place Client on pre-trial probation for this complaint alleging possession of a Class C controlled substance, underage possession of alcohol, resisting arrest and disorderly person. Client successfully completed pre-trial probation and the case was dismissed on October 1, 2008. Client's parents recently re-hired Attorney Yannetti to petition the court to seal this case. Today, after a hearing in court, Attorney Yannetti persuades the judge to permanently seal all of the records pertaining to these charges. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

May 1, 2009
Middlesex Superior Court
Docket No. 2006-1436
Back on February 8, 2008, Attorney Yannetti successfully persuaded the prosecutor and the judge to dismiss two serious indictments against Client -- one for deriving support from prostitution and the other for keeping a house of ill fame. Client thereafter re-hired Attorney Yannetti to petition the court to seal both indictments. Today, after a hearing in court, Attorney Yannetti persuades the judge to permanently seal all of the records pertaining to those charges. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

April 23, 2009
Somerville District Court
Docket No. 0610-CR-2715
Back in September 2006, multiple charges of prostitution were dismissed against Client after she was indicted and the case was brought to superior court. Client therefore hired Attorney Yannetti to petition the court to seal these district court charges. Today, after a hearing in court, Attorney Yannetti persuades the judge to permanently seal all of the records pertaining to this case. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

April 2, 2009
Cambridge District Court
Docket No. 0752-CR-3226
Back on August 8, 2008, after convincing a judge to suppress from evidence the cocaine that had allegedly been found on Client's person, Attorney Yannetti persuaded the district attorney's office to dismiss this narcotics case against Client. Client thereafter re-hired Attorney Yannetti to petition the court to seal the case. Today, after a hearing in court, Attorney Yannetti persuades the judge to permanently seal all of the records pertaining to this case. As a result, Client can now truthfully answer on any job or official application that he has never been arrested, charged or convicted of any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

March 26, 2009
Worcester District Court
Docket No. 9062-CR-7593
Back in 1990, represented by another attorney, Client pled guilty to shoplifting and paid a fine despite having no previous criminal record. Client was 23 years old then. In the ensuing years, Client graduated from school, moved out of state and became a police officer. Client therefore contacted Attorney Yannetti to petition to seal this old conviction. Today, Attorney Yannetti succeeded in having all records of this conviction permanently sealed. As a result, Client can now truthfully answer on any job or official application that she has never been arrested, charged or convicted of any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

February 12, 2009
Middlesex Superior Court
Docket No. 87-3487
Back in 1989, represented by another attorney, Client was sentenced to 6-8 years in state prison for a distribution of cocaine case. In 1990, after serving part of his state-prison sentence, Client's sentence was revised to a suspended sentence. He successfully completed probation in 1993. By early 2009, Client had grown up, completely turned his life around, and was now a medical doctor. Client contacts Attorney Yannetti to petition the court to seal this old conviction. Today, Attorney Yannetti's petition to seal was successful. As a result, Client can now truthfully answer on any job or official application that he has never been arrested, charged or convicted of any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

April 18, 2008
Boston Municipal Court
Central Division
Docket No. 0301-CR-0029
Back in 2003, Attorney Yannetti successfully convinced a judge to place Client on pre-trial probation, then ultimately to dismiss this felony larceny case against Client. Five years later, Client re-hired Attorney Yannetti to petition the court to seal the official records regarding this case. Today, Attorney Yannetti convinces the judge to permanently seal the records. As a result, Client can now truthfully answer on any job or school application that he has never been arrested, charged or convicted of any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

March 31, 2008
Boston Municipal Court
Central Division
Docket No. 0701-CR-8207
Back in January, Attorney Yannetti successfully convinced a judge to dismiss this domestic assault and battery case for Client. Thereafter, Client re-hired Attorney Yannetti to petition the court to seal the official records regarding this case. Today, Attorney Yannetti convinces the judge to permanently seal the records. As a result, Client can now truthfully answer on any job or school application that he has never been arrested, charged or convicted of any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

November 27, 2007
Somerville District Court
Docket No. 0710-CR-0771
Back in April, Attorney Yannetti successfully convinced a judge to dismiss this domestic assault and battery case for Client. Thereafter, Client re-hired Attorney Yannetti to petition the court to seal the official records regarding this case. Today, Attorney Yannetti convinces the judge to permanently seal the records. As a result, Client can now truthfully answer on any job or school application that he has never been arrested, charged or convicted of any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

September 26, 2007
Brookline District Court
Docket No. 0709-CR-0492
Last month, Attorney Yannetti successfully convinced a judge to dismiss this domestic assault and battery case for Client. Thereafter, Client re-hired Attorney Yannetti to petition the court to seal the official records regarding this case. Today, Attorney Yannetti convinces the judge to permanently seal the records. As a result, Client can now truthfully answer on any job or school application that she has never been arrested, charged or convicted of any crime. Result: Case Permanently Sealed.

August 7, 2007
Lynn District Court
Docket Nos. 0613-CR-5817; 0613-CR-5832; 0613-CR-5843
Clients, an elderly woman and her two daughters, were all originally charged with shoplifting on a joint venture theory. Back in October 2006, all three women hired Attorney Yannetti, who succeeded in convincing the prosecutor and the judge to dismiss all three cases upon the payment of $100 court costs by each Client. All three Clients subsequently re-hired Attorney Yannetti to petition the court to seal the official records regarding these cases. Today, Attorney Yannetti convinces the judge to seal all of the records. As a result, each Client can now truthfully answer on any job or school application that they were never arrested, charged or convicted of these crimes. Result: Cases Permanently Sealed.