Is a CWOF as good as guilty when sealing records?

Asked over 4 years ago - Chicopee, MA

I have 2 A&B w/ dangerous weapon charges, both of which CWOF'd and then dismissed. That was about 11 years ago. In MA, its considered a felony. If I wasn't convicted or found guilty but was given a short probation period (never met with probation officer, though) before the charges were dismissed, do I have to wait the 15 years to have the felony sealed? I wouldn't think so since I was never CONVICTED of the felony and the case dismissed after I satisfactorily completed their required terms, but I read that a CWOF is as good as guilty when sealing records.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Dominic L. Pang

    Contributor Level 17

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Under 276, 100A, a felony conviction or non-conviction 15 years or older can be sealed by direct petition to the Commissioner of Probation and the Commissioner SHALL seal (no discretion) if certain other conditions have been met. The second way to seal under 276, 100C is to file a petition and supporting affidavit with the court that gave you the CWOFs and convince a judge that there is a compelling governmental interest in sealing your record that outweighs the public's interest in having the record accessible (judge has discretion to allow or deny your petition to seal). You do not have to wait 15 years to attempt to seal the felony CWOF, if you go the 100C route, but you do have to wait 15 years to seal it if you go the 100A route. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Best of luck,

  2. Jessica Ann Foley

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . Attorney Pang is absolutely correct. Good luck!

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