When people are convicted of crimes, they receive criminal records. This can impact a person for the rest of his or her life, as this becomes a public record. It is because of this that it can be difficult to get an education, a job, loans, housing, etc. The state of Maryland understands that this can be damaging, which is why certain individuals are offered the opportunity to expunge their criminal records. Continue reading below to learn more and contact an experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney for assistance.
What is Expungement?
Expungement allows an individual with a criminal record to ask the court to remove certain arrests or convictions from their history report. When one is expunged, it can no longer be viewed by the public. It can only be viewed by specific agencies, such as federal authorities like ICE and the FBI. Individuals who wish to have the record expunged should seek the assistance of a criminal defense attorney who can help to fight for your future.
What are Maryland’s Expungement Laws?
In the state of Maryland, a criminal record can generally be expunged if the individual:
- Receives probation before judgment (not for all offenses)
- Receives a stet
- Receives a dismissal (nolle prosequi)
- The person is not prosecuted
- The person is pardoned by the governor
- The person is convicted of certain offenses, and at least 10 or 15 years have passed
- The crime the person was convicted of is no longer a crime
It is important to know that not all crimes can be expunged from a record. In addition to this, expungement cannot be filed if the individual currently has any criminal proceedings pending against them or they are convicted of a crime during the waiting period.
When Can a Record be Expunged?
A person can have their record expunged under certain circumstances. This requires a certain amount of time to pass. Expungement can be filed if three years have passed and:
- The individual received probation before judgment (expect in DUI/DWI cases and certain sex offense cases)
- The court indefinitely postponed the case (Stet)
- The crime is listed in Md. Code, Criminal Procedure §10-105(a)(9)
- The individual was not found criminally responsible for certain offenses
Expungement can be filed if four years have passed and the individual was convicted of possession of marijuana. It can be filed if 10 years have passed and the person was convicted of a misdemeanor listed in Md. Code, Criminal Procedure §10-110. A person can file for expungement if 15 years have passed and they were convicted of assault or of a domestically related crime listed in Md. Code, Criminal Procedure §6-233.
Immediate expungement is available for certain dispositions such as dismissals. This requires that the person file a general waiver and release indicating they will not file suit against the complaining witness or arresting police officer.
Contact our Firm
The Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz proudly offers criminal and traffic defense and personal injury services to clients in Anne Arundel County and Howard County Maryland. With so much at stake, you need a legal team you can trust. Contact the Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz today to discuss your case.