April 10, 2019

New Massachusetts Law for Survivors of Human Trafficking

Massachusetts recently passed a new law making it easier for survivors of human trafficking to clear arrests, criminal charges, and convictions from their records. The law applies to convictions in Massachusetts if they occurred as a result of having been a survivor of human trafficking. Vacating a conviction is different from expungement and record sealing, and is the most complete “erasure” of criminal conviction available in Massachusetts.

Examples of charges that may be vacated or cleared under the new law include:

  • Common night walking
  • Resorting to restaurants or taverns for immoral purposes
  • Sex for fee
  • Simple possession of a controlled substance

Vacating a conviction helps to remedy past injustice, empower survivors to access housing, employment, and immigration opportunities, and provides survivors a means to reclaim their experience.

If you think you may be eligible under the new law, please contact the BU Law Immigrants’ Rights and Human Trafficking Program by calling 617-353-0993. Additionally, the Boston Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service can also provide referrals for legal advice and representation. You call the Boston Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service at 617-742-0625, connect with an area online 24/7 by clicking “Get Started” here, or by submitting an email request online today.