Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney

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The New CORI Law and who can see my record

What is a “record” and who can see it? (Criminal Offender Record Information of “CORI” laws)

What does “CORI” mean?

A: A CORI, or Criminal Offender Record Information, consists of records and data in any communicable form compiled by a Massachusetts justice agency. They relate to the nature or disposition of a criminal charge, an arrest, a pre-trial proceeding, sentencing, incarceration, rehabilitation, release or other judicial proceedings. They DO NOT include juvenile criminal history, unless the juvenile was adjudicated as an adult on the charges.

What is iCORI and the iCORI response?

A: iCORI is a newly developed computer system used by the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services to file CORI records provided to them daily by the trial courts. An iCORI response is the confidential information regarding certain criminal offenses a person was charged with in Massachusetts, and on which that person was arraigned in either District Court or Superior Court. Once a person is arraigned, they have a “record”, which will never disappear without a court order.

How can I get my dismissed case removed from my criminal record?

A: The probation department routinely opposes any attempt to remove anything from your record. In limited circumstances, such as the wrong person was listed or misidentified in some way, a court order will accomplish that result. In most cases, the best you can hope for is a “sealed record”. Misdemeanors may be sealed 5 years after the conviction or any period of incarceration, whichever is last. Felonies may be sealed 10 years after the conviction or any period of incarceration, whichever is last.

However, that is not always a good thing, because it will come back, in certain circumstances, as “sealed”, which invites speculation. Criminal justice agencies may obtain all criminal record information, including sealed records, for the performance of their duties.

Contact us to discuss this matter. The best way to prevent problems is to contact us immediately when you suspect the police are interested in you as there are various ways of dismissing cases PRIOR TO ARRAIGNMENT, at which time there is no “record” prior to arraignment.

I was never charged with some of the offenses that appear on my criminal record. Where do I go to dispute this?

A: You need to contact the probation department of the court in which the disputed charges were brought. This means if you are disputing several different charges out of several different courts, you must contact each of the probation departments of each of the various courts. We can assist you in bringing motions before the court to prove you were the not the person charged, and ask to have the matter “expunged” from your record. These are court proceedings where you should have an attorney representing, as they are not simple processes. Often it is necessary to go to the police departments themselves and get booking photos to prove you are not the person listed.

BEWARE OF ALLOWING OTHERS TO USE YOUR INFORMATION TO OBTAIN AN ID ILLEGALLY AS THIS PERSON MAY GET ARRESTED AND BOOKED UNDER YOUR NAME AND IT IS TIME CONSUMING AND EXPENSIVE TO GO BACK AND PROVE THAT IT WAS NOT YOU!

What are the new CORI reforms?

A: The CORI reforms are intended to provide ex-offenders with a better chance of re-integrating themselves into the employment world, while still maintaining public safety. Individuals may now see what non-law enforcement entities have requested their CORI, to determine if checks were run prior to an interview or job rejection.

A crucial part of the reforms is the “Ban of the Box”, which prevents employers from asking (on an initial written employment application) whether an applicant for a job has been convicted of a criminal offense, unless the employer is prohibited by law from hiring individuals for a particular position because of criminal convictions.

Applicants are also entitled to a new Due Process Right, where if an employer has obtained criminal history information about an applicant, they must provide the applicant with the information prior to asking him/her about it.

Before an employer makes an adverse decision based on an applicant’s CORI, the employer must: notify the applicant of the potential adverse employment action; provide the applicant with a copy of their CORI; provide a copy of the employer’s CORI policy (if applicable); identify the information in the CORI that is the basis for the potential adverse employment action; provide the applicant with the opportunity to dispute the accuracy of the information in the CORI; provide the applicant with a copy of DCJIS information on the process for correcting CORI; and document all steps taken that comply with the above requirements.

Who gets to see my record and how much do they get to see?

A: That depends on who the requesting party is and the degree of access they have to request and receive criminal history information through iCORI.

Employers now have Standard Access to CORI. This means they can receive information on:

* All pending criminal charges, including cases continued without a finding of guilt until they are dismissed;

* All misdemeanor convictions for 5 years following the date of disposition or date of release from incarceration (whichever is later);

* All felony convictions for 10 years following the date of disposition or date of release from incarceration (whichever is later);

* All convictions for murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, and sex offenses;

* Information relating to offenses on which the subject was adjudicated as an adult while younger than 17 years old

Landlords now have Standard Access to CORI (same as employers) in order to screen applicants for housing. They can screen any adult leaseholder or applicant, but not other adult household members.

Hospitals, Healthcare Staffing Agencies, Healthcare Clinical Programs,Banks, Security System Installers and Amusement Device Operators are some examples of employers who have Required 1 Access to CORI. This means they must comply with regulations in hiring, and have access to:

* All pending criminal charges, including cases continued without a finding of guilt, until they are dismissed;

* All misdemeanor and felony convictions dating from the subject’s 17thbirthday;

* All information relating to those offenses for which the subject was adjudicated as an adult while younger than 17 years old;

* All convictions for murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, and sex offenses

Assisted Living Facilities, Nursing Homes, Programs for Children, Councils on Aging, and Military Recruiters are some examples of employers who haveRequired 2 Access to CORI. This means they must comply with regulations in hiring, and have access to:

* Non-conviction information;

* All pending criminal charges, including cases continued without a finding of guilt, until they are dismissed;

* All misdemeanor convictions and felony convictions dating from the subject’s 17th birthday;

* All information relating to those offenses for which the subject was adjudicated as an adult while younger than 17 years old;

* All convictions for murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and sex offenses

Only Camps for children are given Required 3 Access to CORI. This means they must comply with regulations in hiring, and have access to:

* Non-conviction information;

* All pending criminal charges, including cases continued without a finding of guilt, until they are dismissed;

* All misdemeanor convictions and felony convictions dating from the subject’s 17th birthday;

* All information relating to those offenses for which the subject was adjudicated as an adult while younger than 17 years old;

* All convictions for murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and sex offenses

The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care has Required 4 Access to CORI. This means they must comply with regulations in hiring, and have access to:

* Non-conviction information;

* All pending criminal charges, including cases continued without a finding of guilt, until they are dismissed;

* All misdemeanor convictions and felony convictions dating from the subject’s 17th birthday;

* All information relating to those offenses for which the subject was adjudicated as an adult while younger than 17 years old;

* All convictions for murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and sex offenses;

* Information regarding criminal offenses that have been sealed

The Public has limited access to Open CORI. This means they have access to:

* Misdemeanor convictions within 1 year of conviction or release from incarceration;

* Felony convictions within 2 years of conviction or release from incarceration;

* All felony convictions punishable by five or more years of incarceration within 10 years of conviction or release from incarceration;

* All murder, manslaughter and sex offense convictions, unless sealed

REQUEST FOR PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE MASSACHUSETTS CORI

There is no iCORI registration fee for public use, and individuals can use it to request their own personal CORI. Individuals can register for:

* Open CORI, which provides you with the ability to request some CORI information of any individual;

* Personal CORI, which provides you with the ability to request your own CORI; or

* Advocate, Guardian or Representative, which provides you with the ability to request CORI on behalf of someone else

If you don’t understand this and/or need an attorney to help you contact us at Rsweeney@rsweeneylaw.com. We can help!