WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.
Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. See our FAQ on Courts and COVID-19.
Legal Information: Massachusetts
Updated: November 12, 2020
How can I find out if the abuser has been convicted of a crime?
Misdemeanor and felony records are open to the public, but they are not always easy to access. If you know the exact courthouse where the abuser may have been convicted, you can go to the courthouse and ask the clerk of court for access to those records.
Domestic violence misdemeanor and felony records are also kept in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). However, no one other than law enforcement officials and licensed firearm sellers are allowed to search the NICS. Your local police department may be willing to search NICS for you if you ask, but they are not required to do so.
To read more about the NICS, please see What will happen if the abuser tries to purchase a gun?
© 2008–2020 WomensLaw.org is a project of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, Inc. All rights reserved. This website is funded in part through a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this website (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided). NNEDV is a 501©(3) non-profit organization; EIN 52-1973408.