Thank you for that information.
First, let me be clear on the difference between expungement and sealing. Expungement is the physical act of destroying certain records associated with an arrest or conviction. It would act as if the arrest/conviction never occurred.
Sealing, on the other hand, is the prohibition of, and removal from, viewing of certain records of arrests/convictions by the general public. Law enforcement and the government will still have access to the records on an as-needed basis. However, for most, sealing is sufficient to prohibit private entities (like employers) from gaining access to these records.
MA does not provide for expungements unless under rare circumstances (i.e., identity theft where the "thief" commits a crime under the victim's name). However, MA does provide for sealing of offenses.
To Seal an offense, one must have to wait 5 years from the date of the termination or disposition of a case. So, hypothetically, if one was sentenced to 1 year of "probation" in 2005, the 5 year clock begins to run at the end of the 1 year probation (which would be in 2006).
So, depending on the exact outcome of your case, and more importantly, the exact date of disposition, you would indeed be eligible to file a Petition to Seal.
A Petition to Seal is the formal method of requesting that an arrest and conviction be sealed. The Petition is actually a one page document made available to the public on the Massachusetts Court System page. A link to that page is here: http://www.mass.gov/courts/selfhelp/criminal-law/seal-record.html#SealingRecordsofConvictions
This site is a valuable tool for going through the sealing process. As you can see under heading #2 Sealing Records of Convictions, there is a link to the form mentioned above.
I hope this has helped. Please let me know if you have any follow up questions based on what I have provided. If so, please ask and I would be happy to answer them.
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