Updated: Jul 20, 2021
Decriminalization of Gambling: Under the old law, gambling was a civil offense. We frequently encounter clients who have gambling charges on their records and they are usually listed on Maryland Judiciary Case Search as “Gaming/Cards/Dice Etc.” or “Playing Certain Games.”
With the passage of the new law, convictions under the Criminal Codes § 12-102 or 12-103 are potentially eligible for expungement under the “act no longer a crime” provision of Criminal Procedure § 10-105.
A conviction under this section would also not count as a subsequent conviction. As such, it would not affect expungements of other charges that received a disposition of Probation Before Judgment.
Alcohol Possession: The old law makes drinking alcohol in public, or possessing an open container, in certain circumstances, a civil offense. As stated above, this means that these convictions likely will not count toward the the subsequent conviction rule.
Driver’s Licenses: The new law changes possession of a revoked, cancelled, or suspended license to a fine-only violation. This means that a conviction on these charges will not count toward the “unit rule” for expungement purposes.
Note that this applies only to possession of suspended, cancelled, or revoked licenses. “Driving on suspended license” remains a separate charge and still carries the possibility of incarceration depending on the case. However, driving on a suspended license under Transportation Article § 16-303(h) or (i) carries only a fine.
For any questions related to these updates, schedule a consultation with our office and let's talk.