Worcester MA Criminal Lawyer: Who Has Access to Your Criminal Record?

A common concern of those charged with criminal offenses in Massachusetts, is to what level and extent will potential employers be able to access their criminal record information. Ultimately, the answer will depend on the nature of the job you are applying for (with jobs  involving hospitals, the elderly and children allowing for broader access) however, there are some basics.

For example, most employers will be able to get standard access to criminal record information, according to Worcester MA criminal lawyer Shane W. Surrette. This information includes pending cases, such as continuances without a finding, and misdemeanor convictions under five years old.  Similarly, felony convictions less than ten years old are available for standard access by the employer. (Note: The employer will have permanent access for convictions of certain crimes, such as sex offenses).

Beyond pending cases, however, employers will not have access to information not resulting in a conviction. For instance, a continuance without a finding that was dismissed is not available to the employer in most cases.

Furthermore, when we discuss standard access to criminal record information during the interview process, an employer may ask about an applicant’s history of convictions, but may not inquire about arrests not resulting in convictions. Similarly, during the interview process an employer may not ask about misdemeanor convictions more than five years old.

While the above restrictions apply to employers seeking criminal offender information from the state, employers may, however, choose to access criminal offender information from a private credit reporting agency. Such checks are very broad in scope and allow for information obtained from any public source.

With these standards and possibilities of inspection and inquiry by employers in place, it is now more important than ever to speak with your attorney and do your best to avoid convictions. For any questions regarding criminal matters, please contact attorney Shane W. Surrette below:

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