There are many changes to our CORI laws taking effect today, May 4, 2012, but without question the most significant change in addition to the reduction in waiting periods to seal your criminal record is found in MGLA Chapter 276 Section 100C .
The prior law stated:
"In any criminal case wherein a nolle prosequi has been entered, or a dismissal has been entered by the court, except in cases in which an order of probation has been terminated, and it appears to the court that substantial justice would best be served, the court shall direct the clerk to seal the records of the proceedings in his files. The clerk shall forthwith notify the commissioner of probation and the probation officer of the courts in which the proceedings occurred or were initiated who shall likewise seal the records of the proceedings in their files.
I have highlighted the pertinent section of the old law because that qualifier has been removed by the new CORI law. This means for example, that if you had a misdemeanor A&B charge Continued Without a Finding for 1 year (CWOF) and you were placed on probation with a dismissal entering last month, you would be eligible to have that case sealed under the new law. Prior to today, you would have had to wait the statuary waiting period for a misdemeanor which was 10 years. ( Its 5 years under the new law).
Although it appears that a hearing will still be required by law to show to a court that substantial justice would be served by sealing the record, the threshold to make that showing is quite attainable.