Massachusetts

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Statute

M.G.L.A. 265 § 59

Survivors of trafficking may file a motion to vacate convictions for prostitution-related offenses and simple possession of a controlled substance. Survivors must demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the offenses were committed as a result of being a victim of trafficking. Official documentation may create a presumption of human trafficking at the time of offense but is not required for the motion.

Fortunately, Massachusetts is one of a few states that specifically indicate that a conviction vacated for a trafficking survivor is vacated “on the merits.” This is important for reasons discussed in the Polaris State Report Cards.

This webpage was produced by Freedom Network USA under Grant Number 2017-VT-BX-K018, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this document are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.