CORI stands for Criminal Offender Record Information. It is a record of arrests, criminal convictions, and open criminal cases. CORI reports in MA are available online and may be accessed for a fee. Certain parties, such as landlords and employers, have a right to access these reports in order to screen prospective tenants, employees, or volunteers. If you have been convicted of a crime or are currently facing charges, you may be concerned about what appears in your CORI report. Here is some important information.
What is Included in Criminal Records in MA?
The CORI report contains past convictions, although some have time limitations. Any sexual offenses, manslaughter, or murder convictions will appear regardless of how much time has lapsed. Other misdemeanors during the last 5 years or felony convictions over the last 10 years are included if you were incarcerated during that period of time. For example, if you were convicted of a misdemeanor 7 years ago but continued to serve any time within the last 5 years, then it will be included in the CORI report. Additionally, if you have any convictions eligible to be included in your report based on the above criteria, then all of your past convictions will be included regardless of when they occurred.
Are Active or Pending Cases Included in Criminal Records in MA?
Any active cases with a criminal charge for which you have been arraigned will be included in CORI reports in MA. For cases where there is a continuation without a finding (CWOF), whether it appears in the CORI depends on the time frame of the continuance. If the time frame has lapsed, then it will no longer appear on the report. General criminal citations do not show up unless you lose at the initial hearing and the court moves on to the arraignment step.
Impact of CORI Reports in MA
As of November 4, 2010, employers are not permitted to ask about your past convictions in initial job applications. However, they may require a CORI check before offering you a job. Likewise, landlords may include a background check as a requirement before accepting a rental application. It is very difficult to file discrimination charges if you fail to obtain a job or a rental based on what your employer or landlord may have learned in the report. You may take a look at your own CORI report by visiting iCORI and paying the fee. If you require any legal assistance, feel free to give our office a call.