What Exemptions Exist For Public Records In Massachusetts
Massachusetts has several exemptions. You cannot obtain records that have been labeled confidential, such as personnel, medical files, or information that would be an invasion of personal privacy.
Records between law enforcement officers and victims of abuse or rape shall not be public records and are kept within the police departments to protect confidentiality. The victims, attorneys, law officers, and victim-witness advocates can access these records.
Massachusetts statutes can prohibit you from receiving public records. These records are marked either shall not be a public record or shall be kept confidential.
Police Reports Public Record
Police record checks are conducted widely for various legal actions. Where that is done, consent must be obtained from the individual concerned. For certain jobs, a police criminal record check is compulsory such as where they work with children, the elderly and handicap. Security and other circumstances may also require such checks.
A police record report can also be used as an official clearance document. It basically certifies the conduct of the individual. Being an official document from the police department, it can be an invaluable testament to an individuals conduct if it is a clean report. Such reports are often required abroad for the purposes of studying, child adoption and residency. Local police departments have the authority and responsibility for it.
It is possible to obtain police records free of charge directly from the police departments but it usually entails procedures and efforts. If more than one police departments are involved, it can be quite a challenge to assemble a reasonable finished article. It is thus practical to turn to one of the professional providers for this service. There are many public record to choose from on the web and those topping the review sites are mostly good value, theres sure to be one for you.
Are Criminal Records Public In Massachusetts
Criminal records in Massachusetts are public records. The Freedom of Information Act dictates that any documents kept by any government agency in Massachusetts are public record. This means that members of the public have access to them, unless otherwise stated by the law. Specific criminal records can be sealed and information not available at the local level if the record has been sealed or expunged. While Massachusetts criminal records vary between different individuals, most records provide general information such as the:
- Subject’s full name and any known aliases
- Physical descriptors
Criminal records, considered public in the United States, are made available through some third-party aggregate sites. Searching with third-party websites is often easier as the information is not limited to geographic record availability. Information found on third-party websites can serve as a jumping off point for parties searching for a specific record or multiple records. Typically, requesters must provide the following information to gain access to these records:
- The record subject’s name, unless the subject is a juvenile.
- The record subjects’ last known location, including cities, counties, and states.
Third-party websites offer these search services, but they are not government sponsored. Availability of records may vary.
Recommended Reading: What Happens When You File A Domestic Violence Police Report
Massachusetts History And Accuracy Of Criminal Records
The accuracy of criminal records data largely depends on the recordkeeping and technological capabilities of the jurisdiction where the record was assembled and later digitized. Massachusetts criminal records archives usually tend to go back as far as the early 1970swhich is when different institutions began to compile criminal and arrest data into an organized, centralized database, much like we use today. Accuracy was more commonly affected by human error in the past. However, in the 1990s the quality and accuracy of recordkeeping improved exponentially due to the advent of the computer.
How Do I Get A Copy Of A Police Report What Is The Cost
The dissemination of police reports is governed by the Massachusetts Public Records Law. Requests for copies of police reports can be made in person or by mail and should be addressed to the departments Records Bureau. The easiest and quickest way to obtain a police report is in person at the police station. For most reports and logs, the cost is $.50 cents per page and delivery is immediate. In the event that an accident report needs to be mailed then the cost will be $5.00 for the first six pages of the report and $.50 cents for each page thereafter. For all other reports other than accident reports, the cost to mail the report is $1.00 per page. Police Accident reports can also be obtained online here for $10.50.
Read Also: How Long Does A Police Report Take
How Do I Obtain A Copy Of A Motor Vehicle Crash Report
If you are looking for a motor vehicle crash report from the Hanover Police Department, you may fill out the Request for Police Records Form.Phycial copies of the form are located in the main lobby of the police station. All record requests will be subject to approval of the Prosecutor, Records Access Officer, Lieutenant, or Chief of Police.
What Is The Difference Between An Arrest Record And A Criminal Record
While an arrest record and criminal record may appear alike, differences exist between both documents. In Massachusetts, a criminal record or rap sheet is a piece of official information on all a persons criminal activities. It compiles data from various courts and correctional facilities, detailing a persons trial and convictions. On the other hand, an arrest record only shows that law enforcement suspects a person committed a crime. However, the court may acquit the person in a criminal trial. So, it is not concrete proof of a persons crime, and it only describes the persons arrest.
Don’t Miss: Should You Call The Police For A Minor Accident
Where Can I Find Massachusetts Inmate Records
You can access Massachusetts inmate records by using VINElink.
Use VINELink to find the inmate you seek and begin by entering the state and facility.
You will need to have the inmates complete last name and first initial of the first name.
You need to enter the offenders identification number to continue your request.
You can also call the Toll-Free Number to receive Massachusetts inmate records.
The website supports 195+ languages over the phone and is confidential. You can opt-in for notifications by phone, text, email, TTY, or their app.
How To Search For A Massachusetts Arrest Record Online Using A Third
Getting a physical copy of an arrest record or searching for it online through the many law enforcement agency databases may be difficult and time-consuming. So, an individual may have to depend on third-party search services to find arrest records without delays or long processing times.
A searcher will need to navigate to the preferred third-party site with a web browser to find Massachusetts arrest records. Next, the searcher must input the first and last name of the offender and other relevant details that will aid the search. Many of these third-party sites charge a fee for the service, but it is worth paying the fee than suffering delays and inconsistent services from government offices and sites.
Don’t Miss: How To Get A Police Report In Md
How To Subpoena Arrest Records In Massachusetts
Generally, the public has access to arrest records in Massachusetts, but this right is not absolute. Sometimes, law enforcement agencies may restrict parts of an arrest record or even exempt the record from public disclosure. So, an individual will need a subpoena order to access these restricted Massachusetts arrest records. A subpoena is an order from a court directing a person or government body to appear in court or present certain documents.
Rule 17 of the Massachusetts Rule of Criminal Procedure provides for subpoenas of records. First, the applicant must file a motion in court, specifically identifying the particular documents. Then, the motion must be accompanied by an affidavit that describes the relevance of the document, and the applicant cannot rely on hearsay. A person who is older than eighteen can serve a subpoena in Massachusetts, and in some courts, the clerks office prepares and serves the document.
How Can I Access Public Records In Massachusetts
Public interest in Massachusetts records can be accommodated by electronic records or by submitting a formal records request.
If a request is required, it can be sent via email, mail, or phone to the record-holding department.
Every department is different, so expect some variation to the rules if you access records from multiple places.
In general, a public records request should include:
- A time frame that you would like to receive the materials by
- Document delivery method, mail or email
Read Also: What To Do If A Police Dog Bites You
What Can I Do If My Arrest Record Has A Mistake
If a persons arrest record has a mistake, it means that the law enforcement officer that compiled the result entered incomplete or inaccurate information. As a result, there are two procedures for correcting arrest record mistakes in Massachusetts:
Incomplete Information: To correct incomplete information listed on a persons Criminal History Record Information , the affected person must first request a certified copy of the docket sheet associated with the arrest. The person may visit the clerks office at any Massachusetts courthouses where the arraignment took place. Suppose the affected person is not sure of the particular court that handled the matter.
In that case, the person may request a Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information from the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services iCORI system. The CORI will provide information about the docket number and phone number of the court that heard the matter. Interested persons may use the iCORI guidelines to register, create an individual iCORI account and request online.
After reviewing the persons information, the police department may find a need to correct the submission in the CHRI. The department will then submit a request to the Massachusetts State Police State Identification Section on behalf of the affected person. After receiving the request, the MSP SIS will correct the information in the SIS database and send a copy of the corrected information to the FBI.
What Are Massachusetts Arrest Warrants
Arrest warrants in Massachusetts provide law enforcement officials with authority to arrest or detain the person named in the document. Signed and issued by a judge or magistrate, a grand jury may also issue arrest warrants. Arrest warrants provide information linked to the order, such as the subject’s name and the substance of the offense charged in the complaint or indictment. Arrest warrants can also serve as an active warrant search to aid investigation by the state police or any other law enforcement agencies in the state. Parties can find the following information on arrest warrants issued in Massachusetts:
- The subject’s suspected criminal offense
- The issuer’s name and the date on which the warrant was issued
- The warrant’s expiration date
- The location and time of the possible arrest
- The bail/bond requirements that must be met
Read Also: What Level Body Armor Do Police Wear
General Records And Police Reports
Public Records Requests: Public Records requests may be made in person, mailed, or emailed to . Although not required, requests for public records should be submitted in writing in order to ensure that the Office accurately and completely responds to your request. A request for public records should include a reasonable description of specific records being requested. Under some circumstances the Office may assess a reasonable fee for the production of public records. Mail requests should include a stamped, self addressed envelope.
The Records Office is located in the lobby of the Police Station and is open Monday through Thursday between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Types of Reports:
Accident Reconstruction: These reports are reconstructions of accidents involving serious injuries or fatalities. These reports can takeover a month to complete.
Accident Reconstruction Photographs: These are photographs of the accident scene taken by a department photograph as part of the reconstruction. They are not included with the Accident Reconstruction Report.
Accident Report: This will be the police officers report of a motor vehicle accident where the aggregate damage was over $1000 or there was personal injury. These reports are usually available 7 to 10 business days after the accident.
What Are Massachusetts Inmate Records
Massachusetts inmate records provide official information about persons detained or incarcerated in correctional facilities run by the state or county. Like most states, Massachusetts has a Department of Corrections, which maintains an inmate search database where a requester can look up an inmate. Residents of the state can also perform an inmate search at the office of the Department Of Corrections’ primary record access officer. This office is located at 50 Maple Street, Milford, MA 01757. Some of the general information provided in an inmate record include:
- The offender’s name
- Number of convictions
- Convicted crime
Massachusetts Megan’s Law is used to describe established state laws that govern the creation, maintenance and use of a sex offender registry. Megan’s Law was created after the rape and murder of 7-year-old New Jersey resident Megan Kanka by a sex offender who lived in the girl’s own neighborhood. Based on the likely recurrence of sexual offense, it has now become a criminal offense for a sexual offender not to register either at the national sex offender registry or at the state registry. Soon after the passage of this first Megan’s Law, the federal government required that all states set up sex offender registries and offer the public information about those registered. Members of the public can obtain public records or information about a sex offender by submitting a request form to the Sexual Offender Registry Board at:
Don’t Miss: How Do You Check Your Police Record
What Are Massachusetts Parole And Probation Records
Parole records in Massachusetts provide official information about the early release of a prisoner. Inmates who are out on parole must agree to meet certain conditions for a fixed period as part of the terms of their early release. The oversight of parolees is maintained by the Massachusetts Parole Board. It conducts parole release hearings, provides reentry services to offenders, and supervises inmates while in the community. It is also the board’s responsibility to make sure that the parole rules are strictly adhered to and that there is no parole violation.
While the prisoner is on supervised parole, the board requires, as a condition of parole, that they pay a monthly supervision fee. The board may also agree to accept a lower fee after determining the inability of the prisoner to pay. In addition, the board may impose any conditions of parole to make sure the best interests of the prisoner and the citizens of Massachusetts are served.
Probation records are different from parole records. They are official documents that show when a person receives probation as an alternative to prison. Probation allows people convicted of a crime in Massachusetts to serve their sentences out of custody, as long as they follow probation conditions imposed by the judge and probation officer. Probation is issued in proportion to the crime, so the length and nature of probation differ from case to case.
12 Mercer RoadNatick, MA 01760
How To Expunge Arrest Records In Massachusetts
The presence of an arrest record in a persons criminal history report can make things difficult for the person. As these reports appear in background searches, the affected person may find it hard to get a decent job or accommodation. To prevent circumstances like these, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts allows for the expungement of a persons criminal record. Having a record expunged in Massachusetts means that the record will no longer be accessible by the court or other government agencies. The record is then permanently destroyed. There are two types of criminal expungements that a person can qualify for in Massachusetts:
Massachusetts Time-Based Expungement: For a person to get this type of expungement, the offense must qualify for expungement under Mass. General Laws c.276 § 100I. An example of these offenses is a motor vehicle offense with a penalty not exceeding a $50 fine. The affected person must also meet the following criteria:
After meeting the above criteria, the applicant may fill out a Petition to Expunge Form and attach additional information to support the petition. The process is entirely free, and the applicant may mail the completed form to the Office of the Commissioner of Probation, One Ashburton Place, Room 405, Boston, MA 02108. After analyzing the petition, if the office finds that the applicant meets the criteria, it will notify the District Attorneys Office in the county where the offense was tried.
Also Check: Does Progressive Require A Police Report
Where Can I Find An Existing Massachusetts Marriage Record
You can order a Massachusetts marriage record online by using VitalCheck.
Or, you can request a certified copy of a Massachusetts marriage certificate by completing the Application for Vital Record and submitting it by mail or in person.
The cost of a certified marriage license in Massachusetts is $20 if you order in person and $32 by mail
Police Reports And Public Records
Waltham Police Records Access Officer:Supervisor of the records: Captain Jeffrey M. Rodley
Records Access Officers are assigned to the Community Services Division of the Waltham Police Department which include sworn officers and civilian employees.
Waltham Police Department Records Division Contact Info:Waltham Police Department: Records Div. 155 Lexington St, Waltham, MA 02452Main number: 781-314-3580 / Fax: 781-314-3590Email request: Hours of operation: 7:30-3:30 Monday-Friday
A request for public records will be filled within 10 business days following receipt of the request under most circumstances.
You May Like: How Do I Find My Police Report Online
How Long Do Massachusetts Arrest Records Stay On File
In 2010, Massachusetts passed the CORI Reform Act into law to restrict public access to CORI information after a certain time. If the offense is a misdemeanor, the arrest record will only stay on file for five years, provided the offender has been of good behavior. Also, if the offense is a felony, the records will stay on file for only ten years. Once a persons arrest record is sealed or expunged, it will no longer appear on CORI reports.