criminal records and handcuffs

What You Need to Know About Sealing a Criminal Record

Once an individual commits a crime, that record may bring them many difficulties throughout their life. For instance, securing employment can be much more challenging, and they may be barred from participating in activities that include other individuals.

Those who have a criminal record may have changed for the better, but history can come back to bite them. Fortunately, those who want these records hidden away have a way to do that. It is called sealing a criminal record.

Sealing a criminal record will not eliminate its existence, but it makes it much harder to access. In essence, it gives the individual a second chance at a better life without the worry of their record hindering them.

That being said, sealing a record will differ depending on the case in question. Here is what you need to know to gain a better idea of the process:


The type of conviction a person may possess is a significant factor in the sealing process. For example, a misdemeanor will require a three-year waiting period before one can seal it. On the other hand, a felony will require a seven-year wait period or even more. Other more serious offenses, such as sex- and firearm-related crimes, may take a lot longer. They might also be impossible to seal.

There are other considerations when it comes to sealing a record. For instance, if an individual was sentenced to serve time in prison, the wait time will only start after they are released.

In other words, the type of conviction, in addition to various factors, determines whether their record can be sealed and how long they have to wait before they can make that happen.


A criminal record may still be made even if an individual is not convicted. Fortunately, this record can immediately be sealed, especially if the case has been dismissed or the individual has been found not to be guilty of the act. This also applies to individuals on probation as long as they follow the rules regarding it. 

Access to sealed records 

Note that while these records may be sealed, certain parties may still be able to access them for safety reasons. For example, if a convicted individual applies for work in certain agencies under the Department of Children and Families, Criminal Justice, and the like, these records can be opened. However, as long as the individual does not apply for work under these agencies, the sealed records will remain inaccessible. 


Just because one has committed a crime does not mean they will do it again. However, people who have changed for the better may find that their past continues to haunt them. For such individuals, sealing their records might be the best option. It lets them move past their prior mistakes and have a better shot at improving their situation.

Ultimately, the chance to seal their records lets individuals enjoy more opportunities that may allow them to move forward, essentially giving them a second chance to become valuable members of society.

Need help sealing a record? The Fernandez Firm can offer you the best criminal lawyer in Boston to help you do it right! Work with us today.