Are you wondering if your criminal conviction in Maryland is eligible for expungement? The answer could be “yes” depending on the charges. Getting your record expunged means that the information about your case will become inaccessible to public view so you can move forward in life without the burden of past errors. 

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At Parker, Pallett, Slezak & Russell, LLC, our criminal defense attorneys believe that everyone deserves a second chance. Give us a call at (410) LAW-YERS or contact us online to learn whether you can get a clean slate under Maryland expungement laws.

What Is Expungement?

The expungement process allows you to erase a part of your legal history under specific circumstances. With a clear criminal record, you can open yourself up to new job opportunities, get approved for housing, and eliminate the stigma associated with a criminal background. 

The types of cases or records that can be expunged in Maryland include:

Non-convictions

These are situations where someone was charged but ultimately not convicted, such as minor theft or shoplifting, disorderly conduct or public disturbance, simple assault (non-violent crime, minor physical altercation), trespassing, and so on. It is possible that you were not convicted because the cases ended in the following ways:

  • Acquittal: You went to trial, and the verdict was “not guilty.”
  • Dismissal: The charges against you were dropped.
  • Nolle Prosequi: The prosecutor decided not to pursue the case.
  • Stet: The case was placed on an inactive docket, essentially putting it on hold indefinitely.

In this case, you could get your criminal records expunged.

Probation Before Judgment (PBJ)

In some instances, you can receive PBJ, where the court withholds a finding of guilt. It’s not a conviction, but there are conditions, like completing probation. Note, however, that PBJ for DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while impaired) charges cannot be expunged.

Guilty pleas

Sometimes, it’s possible that you can expunge records even if you plead guilty. This mostly applies to less serious misdemeanors, especially where the law has changed to make the act no longer a crime.

Governor’s pardon

If you have received a pardon from the Governor of Maryland for a conviction, those records are eligible for expungement.

Records That Cannot Be Expunged in Maryland

Serious offenses like the following are unlikely to be removed from criminal records: 

  • Violent crimes (murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, arson, and robbery)
  • Sexual offenses, especially if they involve a minor
  • DUI/DWI convictions
  • Serious drug offenses (e.g., distribution or intent to distribute)
  • Repeat offenses (multiple convictions for the same type of crime)
  • Crimes involving child abuse or neglect
  • Domestic violence involving physical harm or grave threats
  • Major theft or fraud convictions

Criminal Record Automatically Expunged In Maryland?  

Many driving records in Maryland are subject to automatic expungement. However, this is contingent on the nature of the charges, whether there was a conviction, and the time that has passed since then.

There is also a special provision for some police records. If you were detained after October 1, 2007 but not charged, your record will disappear from the system within 60 days of your release.

Other than these situations, expungement is not automatic. You or your expungement lawyers in Maryland must file an expungement petition with the court. Your Maryland expungement attorneys will make sure the right forms are filed accurately with the court. The judge will review your application and decide whether to grant the legal record expungement.

Waiting Period Before You Can Apply for Record Expungement

In Maryland, you must wait until the resolution of your case before you can apply. You can file for expungement right away if your case ended in an acquittal, dismissal, or nolle prosequi. For cases placed on the stet docket, you need to wait three years.

The waiting period is three years for Probation Before Judgment cases as well; not including DUI/DWI as these do not meet the criteria for eligibility for expungement in Maryland. For more serious misdemeanors, the waiting period might be up to ten years.

Choose Experienced Expungement Lawyers Maryland to Clear Your Record

The process of getting a clear criminal record in Maryland can be long and arduous without the right team of lawyers. Hiring an expungement lawyer from Parker, Pallett, Slezak & Russell, LLC in Maryland can greatly enhance your chances of a successful expungement. 

We can negotiate with prosecuting attorneys for you, submit your expungement request according to Maryland’s laws, and provide the courts with all the important information about your case.Our Maryland criminal expungement attorneys will make sure your application is placed in the right hands at the most opportune moment to increase your likelihood of success. Reach out to us online or call (410) LAW-YERS for legal assistance for expungement in Maryland.