CRIMINAL EXPUNGEMENT

Anyone who has a driver’s license and a detrimental record associated with it, or who has a police record, will have the feeling of wanting some of those driving or police contact records to “just go away.” The erasing of driving, court, or police records is called an expungement. Our past driving or criminal records can prevent us from getting a job, renting an apartment, or establishing credit in our own name. You will want an expungement of your records to help you to move forward from your past. 

Maryland laws allow records to be removed from police, motor vehicle and court files. If you are looking to have an arrest expunged, you need to apply for an expungement for the arrest, or if more than one record needs to be expunged, it is done one at a time. 

 
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Filing an Expungement

If you are interested in filing for an expungement, the waiting periods will vary depending on the way the case was concluded, and if you formerly filed a General Waiver and Release. If the petition is an acquittal, nolle prosequi, or a dismissal, you can file within three years if a General Waiver and Release or after the disposition. Here are some situations regarding when to file the petition for expungement:

  • If the petition was noted on a probation before judgment, you can also file three years or more after the granting or discharge of the probation (use the later date of either). 

  • If the petition is from a guilty verdict or finding of not criminally responsible for a specified nuisance crime, you can file three years after the guilty conviction, or upon completion of the sentence (use the later date of either), or three years after a finding not criminally responsible. 

  • If the petition is from a conviction of a crime, and the conviction is based on an act no longer a crime, you can file at any time. 

  • If the petition is from a stet or compromise, you have to wait for three years after the case disposition to file. 

  • In the event that the petition is for a misdemeanor conviction, violating a criminal law, or other criminal conviction, it is advisable to seek legal advice on when to file in those cases. 

 
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Motor Vehicle and Police Records Expungement

If you are detained by the police and not charged for an offense, the records will automatically be expunged after 60 days. If you have a record before 2007, you may need to request an expungement, but it can only be done within eight years of the date of the detainment. 

Court records can be petitioned to be expunged if you were: 

  • Found not guilty

  • The charge was dismissed

  • The criminal conviction is no longer a crime

  • You were found guilty of a nuisance or misdemeanor crime

  • The charge was a marijuana possession conviction Criminal Law Article § 5-601

  • Crimes under Criminal Procedure Article § 10-110

  • The charge was a one-time non-violent criminal act, fully and unconditionally pardoned by the Governor

  • The case was compromised

  • The State’s Attorney did not prosecute charge

  • The charge resulted in probation (before judgement, but does not apply for DUI)

The advantages of having a motor vehicle or criminal record expunged, are that the arrests, criminal records, or motor vehicle records will be either destroyed or sealed. This keeps the record from being researched or found by employers, the general public, or from anyone doing a background check (such as for renting a new apartment, for a new hire on a job, or anyone just curious about your past). 

 

If you have had a record successfully expunged, understand that some government agencies (such as police and military) may have seen the record, especially if it is related to your getting a specific security clearance for a job, etc. These records may affect your immigration or naturalization petition or status and could affect your personal life in regard to job opportunities or your credit rating and score. Your records are your personal data, and if you have any other questions regarding getting a motor vehicle or criminal record expunged, you need to give us a call. 

Contact a Maryland Expungement Lawyer Today

If you have questions regarding expungements in Maryland, give us a call at The Saint Yves Law Firm to schedule a consultation with our office,we will talk to you about the details of your case. A successful Maryland record expungement can do wonders for clearing some of the personal and professional hurdles you may have been facing for years. If it is available, we would love to help do this for you.