When a person commits a crime, it generally results in a public record. Criminal records can impact a person’s reputation and future. This can make it difficult to get an education, loans, a job, and even housing. The state of Maryland understands this matter and offers individuals with a criminal record the opportunity to have it expunged as long as they meet certain criteria.
What is Expungement?
The process of expungement is when an individual who is charged with or found guilty of a crime in the state of Maryland asks the court to remove certain arrests or convictions from their criminal history report. However, it is important to know that not all crimes can be expunged from a record. Once a record is expunged, it can only be seen by specific agencies, mainly federal authorities who keep records including ICE or the FBI. When facing these situations, it is important to retain the services of an experienced attorney who can fight for your future.
Expungement Laws in Maryland
Expungement offers people the opportunity to continue their life with a clean slate to open doors for their future. Generally, a record can be expunged if a person receives probation before judgment (not all offenses), a stet, a dismissal, they are not prosecuted, they are pardoned by the governor, they are convicted for certain offenses and at least 10 or 15 years have passed, or the act they were convicted of is no longer a crime. In order to receive an expungement, there are certain periods of time that must past depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime.
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
Expungement can be filed if ten years have passed and:
- The individual was convicted of a misdemeanor listed in Md. Code, Criminal Procedure §10-110
Expungement can be filed if fifteen years have passed and:
- The individual was convicted of assault
- The individual was convicted of a domestically related crime listed in Md. Code, Criminal Procedure §6-233
Who is Not Eligible for Expungement?
It is important to know that there are cases in which you cannot get a record expunged. If a person received a Probation Before Judgement (PBJ) for certain offenses, mainly DUI/DWI and sex offenses, they cannot get the PBJ case expunged. In addition to this, individuals cannot file for expungement of any records if they currently have any criminal proceedings pending against them or they are convicted of a crime during the waiting period.
Contact our Firm
The Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz has decades of experience representing clients in Maryland who have been charged with a crime. If you are facing criminal charges, let our firm explore all possible defenses and fight to protect your future. Contact the Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz today to discuss your case.