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Are there some crimes that can never be sealed?

Produced by Greater Boston Legal Services
Created March 2017

Yes. Some convictions can never be sealed:

  • Some firearms offenses, like selling  ammunition or a gun without a  firearms license, or buying a gun from an unlicensed dealer.  (G.L. 140,  § § 121-131H
  • “Crimes against the Public,” like resisting arrest, perjury, witness intimidation, or aiding escape from jail. (G.L. c. 268
  • State Ethics Act violations like bribes to public officials. (G.L. c. 268A
  • If you are now registered as a sex offender, you are permitted to seal other cases that do not involve sex offenses if you meet all the other requirements to seal the cases. 
  • If you are or were ever a Level 2 or Level 3 sex offender,  you can never seal convictions for certain sex offenses like assault with intent to rape, drugging a person for sex, rape of a child and other sex offenses, as defined by Section 178C of Chapter 6 of the Mass. General Laws. Once you are no required to register as a sex offender, you can seal other types of cases.


If your case for one of these never sealable crimes was dismissed or there was a “not guilty” finding or a nolle prosequi (dropping of the case), the case can be sealed. Only convictions for these charges can never be sealed.

Even if you have a conviction that can never be sealed, you can still seal other types of cases that are eligible for sealing.

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