How to ensure "criminal offense" with disposition of "file without content" will not be reflected on my permanent record?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Fall River, MA

After inquiring with the criminal court office regarding the date of my scheduled court hearing (as established at my arraignment session) they've informed me I no longer have a court date as it was marked for disposal. When I inquired further I was informed that a "disposition" with "filed without finding" was determined.

At my arrangement (some months ago) I was formally charged with "Larceny from Person" and pleaded not guilty as I did not "intentionally deprive the accusers belongings." I returned them to his father upon discovery and he informed the DA I did not conduct "Larceny from Person."

How do I ensure this is dismissed? How will this effect my criminal record. I've no past convictions. I plan to acquire a "criminal docket" tomorrow. Character limit disallows further info !

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Terri D. Leary

    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You can obtain a copy of the docket showing the dismissal from your court, and then you can do a CORI self-audit online by going to and following the prompts.

    Providing users with information is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. However, if in... more
  2. Eleanor R. Hertzberg


    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . As a general rule, cases are not dismissed, or filed when the defendant is not present. I'm not sure what exactly you mean by "filed without a finding". There is a disposition called continued without a finding, but you would have been present for that to enter. There is a disposition called filed without a change of plea. Regardless of the disposition, it should not have been done in your absence. Even a dismissal requires your consent. Further, if it was filed without a change of plea, you would want to make sure there is a time limit on it.
    I would suggest you get a copy of the docket sheet and discuss it with an attorney. It is just not clear from your question exactly what happened. If it in fact was closed, the attorney can also assist you in sealing the record.

  3. Emma A. Kremer

    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should consult an attorney to assist you with filing a motion with the court to seal your record because if you don't go before the court you may be subject to a waiting period to seal your record. You may want to consult an attorney also to ensure your charges are properly dismissed as well. Best of luck.

    Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. (It lets us know how we are doing.)... more
  4. Dominic L. Pang

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Once you were arraigned on the charge, the charge appears on your criminal record. The charge appears on your record even if it was ultimately dismissed, or filed without a change of plea, or any other type of disposition. This bears repeating: once arraigned, the charge will show up on your criminal record regardless of the outcome.

    You should contact the attorney who represented you when this case began and figure out what actual outcome of the case was. There is no such disposition as "filed without finding" or "file without content". If the case is in fact closed, you should contact an attorney who handles sealing criminal records to determine your options in sealing your record. Sealing your record would likely entail multiple court appearances and is not something you should undertake without a lawyer.

    Good luck,

    Dominic Pang (617-538-1127)

    Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only and it is not intended as legal advice.... more

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