SECTION 1. Chapter 276 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following new section:-
Section 100E. A court may order expungement of a criminal charge and other records related to the charge if the court determines that expungement is in the interest of justice because:
(a) the criminal complaint issued against the named defendant because of misidentification or other errors by law enforcement, civilian and expert witnesses or court employees; or
(b) the named defendant had no connection to the alleged criminal activity; or
(c) the named defendant was prosecuted because another person impersonated him or her, or used his or her name when arrested by police; or
(d) there was fraud on the court related to the claim that the defendant committed the offense; or
The court, following a meaningful hearing in which the person seeking expungement shall have a full opportunity to present evidence, shall enter written findings of fact when it orders expungement of the records and provide a copy of the order and findings of fact to the commissioner of probation forthwith.
The person seeking expungement under this section shall have the right to counsel at the hearing to determine whether expungement shall be ordered.
The commissioner of probation shall expunge said court appearance and disposition recorded in the commissioner's files and the clerk and the probation officers of the courts in which the proceedings occurred or were initiated shall expunge the records of the proceedings from their files. No individual or other entity, including but not limited to criminal justice agencies as defined section 167 of chapter 6, shall have access to expunged criminal offender record information related to the expunged charge or charges.
The court on request of the defendant shall order the expungement of records that directly pertain to expunged case that are in the care, custody, and control of any other agencies, departments, commissions, or entities, including but not limited to law enforcement agencies. Such expunged records shall include, but not be limited to, arrest and other police records and district attorney files.
For the purpose of this chapter, the words, expunge, expunged, or expungement, shall be mean permanent erasure and destruction of records.
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