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Thursday, May 31, 2012

The New CORI Reform And How It Can Help You

On August 6th, 2010, Governor Patrick signed into law Chapter 256 of the Acts of 2010, also known as CORI Reform which made significant changes to the CORI law. The new provisions of the reform went into effect on May 4, 2012.

CORI stands for Criminal Offender Record Information.

When a person is charged with a crime, it is documented on a permanent record. That documentation remains forever whether the charges are dismissed, you are found not guilty after trial, or you are sentenced to prison. It is permanent unless you file a motion to have your record sealed.

Previous to the changes of the CORI Reform, one of the conditions for sealing your CORI was that 10 to 15 years had to pass since the end of the probation of the prison sentence. The new law shortens these waiting periods to 5 years for a misdemeanor and 10 years for a felony. In addition to the waiting period, you cannot have been found guilty of any criminal offense during that waiting period. The exception to this rule are motor vehicle offenses in which the penalty does not exceed a fine of $50.

While Abuse Orders and Harassment Orders are considered misdemeanors for the purpose of sentencing, under the new law these crimes are considered felonies for the purpose of sealing. Any person with a conviction of these crimes will now have to wait 10 years to seal their record, rather than the typical 5.

The change to the law also includes an employers ability to now receive CORI information over the internet for the first time ever. Employment applications are now prohibited from questioning someone’s criminal record, however, a potential employer can verbally ask this question during a job interview. This is a way of giving an ex-offender a greater chance of obtaining a job.

The reform of the new CORI law means that prior charges will become eligible for sealing. Sealing is an area of the law that is largely misunderstood, so the best way to determine if your record can be sealed is to work with an attorney that has experience in filing motions or petitions to seal your record and also understands what needs to be done in order to increase your chances of sealing your records in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Do not hesitate to contact Massachusetts Attorney Paul R. Moraski for more information, at 1-978-744-1200.

Paul R. Moraski, Esq.
The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski
221 Essex Street, Suite 51
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
Tel: 978.744.1200
Fax: 978.825.1370