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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27478
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Hi - I have a CWOF from last Spring and was wondering if that

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Hi - I have a CWOF from last Spring and was wondering if that will show up in a background check. If so, do employers typically withhold employment due to this?

A CWOF is similar to a plea of "nolo contendre." That is, it requires an admission that the state of Massachussets would have enough evidence to convict you of some or all of what you were alleged to have done. There is, thereafter, a probationary period after which the matter is ended without a finding of either guilt or innocence (essentially, a suspended sentence).

Although you would have the legal right to say that you have never been convicted of a crime, these are not sealed and can turn up on your record and on CORI where, depending on the level of the background check, they can appear.

From what I have read, under MGL Chapter 276, Section 100A, a defendant will be able to seal his misdemeanor after 10 years or his felony after 15 by petitioning the Commissioner of Probation, if there are no other offenses other than traffic matters where the fine doesn't exceed $50. Sealing should make the matter invisible to most employers (government agencies and some licensing divisions, however, can see what most everyone else is not allowed to access).

There's a shorter route to a sealing, (that is, without waiting 10 or 15 years) although it is discretionary, so the outcome would be less certain. That would be to petition the judge directly under MGL Chapter 276, Section 100C, asking for a sealing in the interest of justice. If the judge decides that the state has less of an interest in keeping the record open than in grantic your request, he can do that for you. You would show a compelling governmental interest that would outweigh keeping your CWOF unsealed, and that would best be done via a lawyer.

As to the rest of your question, see this for your rights as an applicant for hire.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
OK. Well.....I am currently applying for a position, so I don't really have time to seal anything. Do employers typically deny employment (not working with an at-risk population)
Hi Al,

I don't know that you saw the last sentence of my post, as you may have read it before I edited this, but Massachussets does have some provisions as to what an employer can and cannot do with someone in your situation. Apart from that, as long as an employer has a non-discriminatory reason for denying someone a position, he can lawfully not hire that person.
Customer: replied 5 years ago., the following statement suggests that I should be good to Since I have a CWOF?

"Employers may not ask about, maintain a record of, or base any employment decision on the following information if they have requested it: Arrests or prosecution that did not lead to a conviction
Hi Al,

That's what it looks like to me! I'd get it sealed down the road anyway in case you ever want an out of state job. But for now, you're good to go.
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