Sealing or expunging a Massachusetts OUI arrest
If you have been arrested for an OUI in Massachusetts and would like to have your record sealed, or the arrest expunged from your criminal history, there are a few steps that you may be able to take in order to make this happen. Neither is a guaranteed route, and are in fact unlikely, but there are very specific reasons that this may be applicable for your record. If you think that you should be eligible to expunge or seal this arrest from your record, a good first step is speaking with a qualified Massachusetts OUI attorney to discuss your circumstances and possible options.
What Is an OUI Arrest Expungement?
When you are approved to have a record expunged, the court orders that all information relevant to the case is destroyed. Following an expungement, it is as if the case never took place, because all records of the incident have been erased.
When Can I Have an OUI Expunged?
In Massachusetts, there are only two reasons that you can have an OUI arrest expunged from your record. The first is that your identity was stolen and you were not the person arrested for operating under the influence, although your identity was used during the arrest. The second reason is that you were a juvenile and there was lack of evidence to be charged. If you do not fall under either of these categories, your only option may be to file to have your record sealed.
What Happens When My OUI Is Sealed?
When a criminal record is sealed, it does not mean that is entirely erased from court records. Instead, it simply means that the public can not see it. Government agencies will still be able to see all of the information pertaining to your OUI arrest, but it is highly unlikely that potential employers will be able to find the incident through a public background check. Ultimately, having a record sealed means that although the public can no longer see it, it will be considered for any future charges or court cases.
How Can I Seal an OUI Arrest?
If your DUI arrest resulted in a not-guilty ruling, Continued Without a Finding (CWOF), or is dismissed, you may be able to seal your record after a specified waiting period. In the event that you entered a guilty plea, or were found guilty, there is still a possibility that you may be able to seal the record, but the waiting period is longer in these situations. Depending on the time that has passed since your arrest, the findings in your case, and more, the specific criteria will vary.
Find a Legal Professional
If you are exploring options to either expunge or seal an OUI arrest, your best bet is to speak with a Massachusetts OUI attorney to discuss your options. While neither option is a guarantee, and in many cases may be highly unlikely, your situation may be such that you are able to pursue one of these routes for your criminal arrest record.
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