I was in the Belchertown District Court last week and happened to take notice of a large stack of papers hanging from the bulletin board that is on the wall outside the courtroom. I went over and flipped through approximately 20 copies of motions to seal criminal records that were filed by college students and posted on the board, as is required by statute.
In the section where the person filing the motion must state why they want their record sealed, EVERY one of them said something like, “since graduating from college I have been denied jobs that I have interviewed for because of this charge/these charges appearing on my record.” Almost all of the cases were disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace or minor in possession of alcohol.
Most people believe that it will be OK to deal with this seemingly minor charge, by themselves, in court. The ramifications of what may seem like a good disposition at the time are clearly MASSIVE, as is evidenced by the stack of motions hoping to now hide this stupid, college student mistake. Trying to save money by not hiring a lawyer can cost much more than her fee down the road.