Sealing is the process of sealing a criminal record. For example, let’s say you got an OUI five years ago. That offense may come back to bite you when you apply for a job, school or housing. If, however, you have the OUI conviction or CWOF sealed, the offense won’t show up in an employment or housing background check. But not all crimes can be sealed, and there are different timelines for different crimes. Read on for more information about how to seal a past criminal conviction, and how long the process will take.
- Misdemeanor offenses: If you were convicted of a misdemeanor offense, such as a first OUI, petty theft, or simple assault, you will be eligible to have the record sealed as soon as five years have passed. This waiting period doesn’t begin until your case has ended, including any time behind bars. In order to qualify, your record must have remained clean since the offense in question. A Boston defense attorney can help you get your record sealed if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor offense.
- Felony offenses: If you were convicted of a felony offense, 10 years must have passed before you are eligible for sealing. Again, this includes any period of incarceration, and you cannot have been convicted of another crime during that time period.