A juvenile criminal record can have a lasting and negative impact on a
person’s future. They can be particularly detrimental to young people
who often face challenges when job hunting, applying for colleges, and
renting or buying property. Recently, Massachusetts lawmakers reached
an agreement regarding a criminal justice reform bill that may offer new
opportunities to people charged with juvenile criminal offenses.
Per this new legislation, people who have committed crimes (including felonies)
before the age of 21 may be able to have their criminal records expunged
after 3-7 years. When the expungement process is successful, a person’s
criminal charges are effectively “sealed,” or erased. Legally,
it’s as if the crime was never committed. However, there are restrictions
to this new legislation. These expungements are only available to people
who have clear criminal records aside from their youthful transgressions.
This new bill also provides second chances to residents with prior convictions
for marijuana possession. Because Massachusetts recently legalized recreational
marijuana use for adults, lawmakers are now granting people the opportunity
to expunge past marijuana possession records (with certain exceptions).
Supporters of the bill claim it provides many new prospects to thousands
of Massachusetts residents. According to State Rep. Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston),
a criminal record “doesn’t allow you to reach your full potential.
So what we’re saying is give these kids a clean slate once they’re
proven that they’ve learned their lesson.”
However, critics of the bill have understandable concerns about the message
it sends to victims of criminal activity. For example, State Rep. Tim
Whelan (R-Brewster) argues, “we don’t want to do this at the
expense of the rights and concerns of the victims.”
Regardless, this bill is offering new hope to many people across the state
Schedule a Consultation
The legal process for having your criminal record expunged may seem intimidating
and overwhelming at first glance. However, don’t let fear or uncertainty
hold you back from starting the next phase of your life. At South Shore
Criminal Defense, our
Brockton expungement lawyer has decades of legal experience and can effectively guide you through
the expungement process.
We want to help you secure a bright future free from the mistakes of your
past. Contact our firm today to learn how these updated expungement laws
can benefit your life.
Call South Shore Criminal Defense
at (617) 231-7107 to schedule a free consultation.