Maryland Expungements

Don’t Let the Past Ruin the Future!

Expungement is a chance to start a new life without the burdens of the past. Even when you completely pay your debts to society, the stigma of a criminal past is not removed. In some cases, the time itself will not be sufficient for the removal of your records, you will need to act yourself. It is the job of a Maryland criminal defense attorney to prove his client’s innocence to protect his or her future, but sometimes the job is not done until all traces of the occurrence are erased.

What Is an Expungement?

Expungement is a process in which your criminal records are removed from public access. However, it is very important to emphasize that in Maryland you cannot expunge all of your criminal records from all places which are accessible to public inspection. The practical consequences of this situation are that you are obliged to apply for a certain expungements separately and through different agencies. In Maryland, you can demand for the criminal records to be expunged from:

  1. Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) Files
  2. Police Files
  3. Court Files

It is definitely worth mentioning that you cannot expect for all of your records to be automatically expunged after certain time. Although MVA files are expunged after 3 years by automatism, your police and court records require your initiative if you do not want to make them available for public inquiries. Prior to 2007, if you were detained by the police and released without charges, the details about this were automatically expunged in 60 days time frame. Nowadays, the records about your detention may stay in the police’s archives for as long as 8 years after your release. Within this period you may request expungement of these records. When it comes to the court records they are not expunged automatically. In addition, you have to file for expungement in the following cases:

  • When you are not found to be guilty
  • When you are found to be guilty only for certain nuisance crimes
  • When the charges against you are being dismissed
  • When the charges involve a probation before judgment with an exception for the situation where you were driving while being under the influence
  • When the State’s Attorney did not prosecute your case further
  • When the Court itself postponed your case for the indefinite period of time
  • When your case was resolved through a compromise (settlement)
  • When your conviction includes only one non-violent crime which was followed by the full and unconditional pardon by the Governor

What do I Need to Know When I Want to File for Expungement?

The very first and most important thing you have to know about expungement is that you are absolutely free and strongly advised to file for it. On the other side, having in mind that the procedure itself may be complex and challenging for you, we strongly recommend professional assistance in this matter. Consequently, you need to know when you are entitled to file a petition for expungement. The obligatory waiting period is determined by your own case and type of file you are planning to use. Three years waiting period is required in the following situations:

  • When your petition includes an acquittal, a nolle prosequi, or a dismissal
  • When you file a General Waiver and Release which includes all legal claims and lawsuits related to the charges
  • When your probation is granted or discharged, taking into consideration the one which is later
  • When you were found to be guilty of a specified nuisance crime, after the conviction or accomplishment of the sentence, taking into consideration the one which is later

The special cases include two situations. One when you are entitled to address the court at any moment, if you can prove a good cause. The other one is referring to a situation when a person dies before a disposition, dismissal or a not guilty verdict. In such cases, the attorney or a personal representative may initiate the Expungement process on deceased person’s behalf.

The costs and time when expungement becomes effective are also among the most important issues. You have to keep in mind that expungement fees may vary for different records you are applying for. In addition, you have to pay for each of the cases involved. What is even more important for you to know is that all expungement fees are nonrefundable. This also includes situations when your file for expungement is being denied. When it comes to the time required for expungement to become effective the procedure itself takes about 90 days to be completed. This is valid only for the cases which do not include additional objections or appeals. In addition, if within the period of 30 days from your appeal neither the State’s Attorney nor the Law Enforcement Agencies do not object your request will be proceeded by the court. You will be notified about the outcome of your file to expungement. In case you are granted with expungement every agency which has your records will be required to remove them in accordance with the court order within the 60 day period. Eventually you will be issued by the Certificate of Compliance that your expungement has been successfully completed.

It has to be emphasized that all expungement requests are treated equally regardless of the records in question. Therefore, you cannot urge or demand a special treatment for your appeal during the process of expungement. For the sensitive cases where juvenile records are involved expungement is also possible, but it is previously determined by the situations where the original charges are being transferred to the juvenile court or transformed into sentences.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

For over 20 years we have successfully been providing help and assistance in numerous cases of expungement procedures. Our knowledge and experience allows us to include only the most efficient and proven techniques for dealing with your problem with criminal records. Regardless of the institution where your records are still available to the public such as police, court or MVA, you can rest assured that they will be expunged in a complete compliance to the law and to the maximum level of your personal expectations.

If you recognize your own case in this text or you know someone who may use our professional help for rebuilding a new life, please do not hesitate to call us, or contact us online.