Are you looking for information on record expungement eligibility in Maryland? Do you want to expunge a criminal case from your past?
Maryland expungement lawyer Randolph Rice has filed thousands of criminal record expungements for clients and he can help clean up your criminal past and history.
Do you have a criminal record in Maryland and you want to know if you are eligible for expungement under the current laws? The easiest way to expunge your criminal record is by using the online expungement service www.MarylandExpungement.com.
Expungement in Maryland
That arrest or conviction doesn’t have to stay with you forever, though. Most states, including Maryland, have some kind of procedure in place to expunge criminal records. You can file a petition for expungement and make your case in court. In Maryland, the success of a petition to expunge depends primarily on how the case was resolved.
Do you have a criminal record?
Before your start the expungement process, though, it’s important to determine whether any records exist. If you were arrested after October 1, 2007, but were never charged, then your arrest records were likely automatically expunged 60 days after the arrest. If you were arrested before that date and charges were never filed, the police department may have your arrest records on file. You can file a petition for expungement as long as it hasn’t been more than eight years since the arrest.
Expungement is possible if
If you were charged, then you may be able to petition to have the charges expunged, depending on the outcome of the case. Here are the scenarios in which expungement may be possible:
- You were found not guilty or the charges were dismissed.
- The state prosecutor declined to prosecute the case.
- You were found guilty of certain nuisance crimes.
- The result was probation before judgement. The exception to this situation is when the charges were for driving while under the influence.
- The case was indefinitely postponed.
- You were convicted of exactly one non-violent crime and you subsequently received a full pardon from the Governor.
If your charges meet one of those criteria, you can file to have it expunged by the Motor Vehicle Administration, from police records, and from court records. You must petition the Court in which your case was heard in and the Court will direct each agency separately, so one petition will work with all three. A criminal defense attorney can help you determine which agencies you need to address and how to start the process.
Can You Get An Expungement?
Let’s figure out if you’re eligible for expungement. This page will discuss expungement of the following types of dispositions. Disposition means the outcome in the case and for the various charges. This page will only cover the following types of expungement. If you were found guilty, then read our page on Expunging a Guilty in Maryland.
- Probation before judgment
- Nolle Prosequi (Nol Pros)
- Not Criminally Responsible (NCR)
Keep reading to learn more about each type of charge and the eligibility for expungement in Maryland.
Acquittal Expungement in Maryland
If you were found not guilty or the charges were acquitted, then the criminal record is eligible for expungement. Acquittal is another name for “not guilty” in a Maryland criminal case.
If all of the charges were not acquitted, then the other charges must qualify under one of the other expungement laws. See the examples below to better understand expunging multiple charges within a case.
Examples of Acquittal Expungement in Maryland
Example #1 – Eligible for Expungement
Count 1 – Acquittal
Count 2 – Acquittal
Count 3 – Acquittal
Example #2 – Not eligible for Expungement
Count 1 – Acquittal
Count 2 – Guilty (felony)
Example #3 – Eligible for Expungement
Count 1 – Acquittal
Count 2 – Stet (3 years have passed since disposition)
Count 3 – Acquittal
When Can An Acquittal Expungement Can Be Filed in Maryland?
A petitioner must wait 3 years to file for an acquittal or “not guilty” expungement. However, if filing earlier than 3 years after the acquittal disposition, a general waiver and release must be filed.
The general waiver and release precludes the defendant from filing a civil claims against the complainant or law enforcement agency. Since the statute of limitations in Maryland is 3 years for a civil complaint, then 3 year waiting period would automatically preclude an individual from filing a civil complaint after that period of time.
Dismissal or Quashed Expungement in Maryland
If the criminal charges were dismissed or quashed, those charges are eligible for expungement under the current laws in Maryland. Each charge within a case or “unit” must also be eligible for expungement to qualify under this rule.
How Long Do I Have to Wait to File for A Dismissal or Quashed Expungement in Maryland?
A petition based on the dismissal or quashing of charges must be filed no earlier than three (3) years since the date of disposition.
If the petitioner or their expungement lawyer wants to file earlier, then the petitioner must sign, date and submit a General Waiver and Release.
The General Waiver and Release serves to preclude the petitioner from filing a civil claim for damages against the complainant or law enforcement department involved in the criminal charges. The complainant is usually the arresting officer or charging officer in the criminal case.
Probation Before Judgment (No Longer a Crime) Expungement in Maryland
If a probation before judgment (PBJ) was entered on the charge, and the conduct on which the charge was based is no longer a crime, then a petition for expungement may be filed in Maryland.
When Can I File An Expungement for a Probation Before Judgment (No Longer a Crime)
A petition based on a probation before judgment for a charge that is no longer a crime can be filed immediately. There is no waiting period for this type of expungement filing.
What if I received a conviction three years after the PBJ for an offense that is no longer a crime? An expungement petition may still be file, even if the defendant was convicted of a different crime within 3 years after the PBJ was entered.
This is different than if the individual received a PBJ (that is still a crime) and within 3 years they were convicted of a new crime. In that instance, the expungement would be denied. Read more about that scenario below under PBJ (still a crime).
Probation Before Judgment (Still a Crime) Expungement in Maryland
If a probation before judgment (PBJ) was entered on the charge, and the conduct on which the charge was based still is a crime can be expunged, but there are some additional restrictions.
In most cases where a defendant received a PBJ, the State typically enters a Nolle Prosequi for the balance of the charges. So, if one of the charges was a PBJ and the rest were nolle prosequi, then the entire case would be eligible for expungement.
What Probation before Judgment Cannot Be Expunged?
Any charge that is a violation of the following crimes cannot be expunged if the defendant received a probation before judgment (PBJ):
- Transportation Article 21-902 (driving under the influence and driving while impaired offenses)
- Criminal Law Article 2-503 (Homicide by motor vehicle or vessel while under the influence of alcohol or under the influence of alcohol per se)
- Criminal Law Article 2-504 (Homicide by motor vehicle or vessel while impaired by alcohol)
- Criminal Law Article 2-505 (Homicide by motor vehicle or vessel while impaired by drugs)
- Criminal Law Article 2-506 (Homicide by motor vehicle or vessel while impaired by a controlled dangerous substances)
- Criminal Law Article 3-211 (Life-threatening injury by motor vehicle or vessel while under the influence of alcohol or related crimes)
- former Article 27 section 388A (Vehicular manslaughter), or
- former Article 27 section 388B (Life-threatening injury by motor vehicle or vessel while under the influence or impaired)
When Can An Expungement Based on a Probation Before Judgment (Still A Crime) Be Filed?
To file an expungement for probation before judgment (for an offense that is still a crime) the petitioner must wait for the later date under these scenarios:
- At least three (3) years have passed since the disposition, or
- The defendant has been discharged from probation
What does this means? You have to wait the longer of the two scenarios. If the probation was for 2 years, then the expungement could not be filed until 3 years after the date of disposition or the date the PBJ was received.
However, if the Court placed the defendant on probation for a period longer than 3 years, then the expungement could not be filed until the probation ends.
Click here to get started expunging your criminal record in Maryland.
Subsequent Conviction: Another Exception for a PBJ Expungement
If an individual was found guilty (convicted) of a new crime within the three-year period immediately following entry of the probation before judgment, then the PBJ is not eligible for expungement. This does not include a subsequent probation before judgment.
Pending Criminal Action: Another Exception for a PBJ Expungement
If an individual seeking an expungement is now a defendant in any pending criminal action, then they cannot file for expungement of a PBJ.
Nolle Prosequi Expungement in Maryland
If the State entered a nolle prosequi (NP), then the charge and case may be eligible for expungement. All counts or charges in the case must be eligible if an individual is filing for a nolle prosequi expungement.
When Can A Nolle Prosequi Expungement Be Filed in Maryland?
A petition for expungement based on a nolle prosequi cannot be filed within the 3 year period after the nolle prosequi was enter, unless the petition contains a General Waiver or Release.
Nolle Prosequi Expungement and Pending Charges
If the individual seeking the nolle prosequi expungement is now a defendant in another pending criminal action, then they are ineligible for expungement while pending the new charges.
Stet Expungement in Maryland
A Stet may be expunged in Maryland. But, there is a waiting period to file an expungement in Maryland based on the Stet. Also, all charged must be marked Stet or all charges other charges in the unit or case must be eligible for expungement under the current laws.
How Long Do I Have to Wait to File An Expungement Based on a Stet in Maryland?
A petitioner seeking to expunge a Stet must wait three (3) years from the date the Stet was entered to file the expungement.
Exception to a Stet Expungement
An individual cannot file to expunge a Stet while that person is a defendant in any pending criminal action.
Not Criminally Responsible Expungement in Maryland
A person may file to expunge a charge where they were found not criminally responsible (NCR) for a crime under these specific articles:
- Criminal Procedure Article 10-105(a)(9) which includes the following crimes:
- urination or defecation in a public place;
- panhandling or soliciting money;
- drinking an alcoholic beverage in a public place;
- obstructing the free passage of another in a public place or a public conveyance;
- sleeping on or in park structures, such as benches or doorways;
- riding a transit vehicle without paying the applicable fare or exhibiting proof of payment; or
- except for carrying or possessing an explosive, acid, concealed weapon, or other dangerous article as provided in § 7–705(b)(6) of the Transportation Article, any of the acts specified in § 7–705 of the Transportation Article;
- Criminal Procedure Article 10-105(a)(10) which includes the following crimes:
- misdemeanor trespass;
- misdemeanor disturbing the peace;
- misdemeanor telephone misuse.
How Long Until One Can File a Not Criminally Responsible (NCR) Expungement in Maryland?
A petition cannot be filed until three (3) years have passed since the finding of not criminally responsible.
Exception to NCR Expungement in Maryland
A petition for not criminally responsible expungement cannot be filed if the individual is currently a defendant in any pending criminal action.
Compromised or Dismissed Expungement in Maryland
If a case was compromised or dismissed pursuant to:
- Criminal Law Article 3-207 (dismissal of assault charge)
- former Criminal Law Article 27 section 12A-5 (compromising assault cases)
- former Criminal Law Article 10 section 37
Then it may be eligible for expungement in Maryland as long at the other charges in the case are eligible.
How Long Until One Can File An Expungement for a Compromised or Dismissed Charge?
An expungement petition based on a compromised or dismissed charge may not be filed earlier than three (3) years since since that disposition was entered by the court.
Expungement Lawyers Here to Help
Do you want to file for expungement but the process seems overwhelming or you want to get it right the first time? Use www.MarylandExpungement.com to complete the expungement process online. Get a clean record and don’t let a mistake in the past hold you back any longer.