If you’re looking to find records for a criminal case in Maryland, the Maryland Judiciary Case Search is probably the tool you need. This records search allows you to look up your own case or another case to see its progress and recent actions taken in the case. These records are public, but some information might be restricted from the public record if it is sensitive or placed under seal by a judge.
These records are helpful in two major ways for defendants in criminal cases: first, they let you track the progress of your case so you can see what stage you’re in when you call your lawyer, and second, they let you see what charges and cases will appear on your record when someone runs a background search. If you have charges that you think should not appear on a background check and you need help with expungement, call our law offices today. Otherwise, our Baltimore criminal defense attorneys can help you with your criminal charges and work to fight the case against you and keep your record clean. Either way, contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291 for a free legal consultation.
How to Look Up a Criminal Case in Maryland
The Maryland Judiciary Case Search (MDJCS) system is accessible on the Maryland State Courts website. Before you can use the case search, there is a disclaimer that explains where the information comes from, how old the information is, how reliable the information on the record is, and what to do if the information is inaccurate. It also says explicitly that this information should not be used for criminal background checks – but that does not always mean that employers and others will listen to that instruction.
Once you click through to continue to the search system, you will be greeted with a form asking for information on the defendant you are looking up a case for. This system has information on criminal, civil, traffic, and civil citation cases at multiple court levels. If you’re not sure which court your case is in (the District Court or Circuit Court), or you aren’t sure if the case is a criminal case or civil citation case, you can leave these search parameters as-is to search both court levels and all case types.
This system doesn’t need too much information for you to get started. Unlike many court systems, you can search Maryland’s records by using just a name. If you know the county the charges were filed in or have a general date range for when the case was filed, you can narrow the search.
Lastly, the bottom portion of the form allows you to search by case number. If you know the number for your case, you can pull up the records more quickly. Your attorney will typically ask for this information, if you have it, so that they can find your records quickly.
If you are looking for information on a criminal or civil case involving a company instead of a person, there is an option to switch the form to a company search instead of a person search.
What to Do with Pending Criminal Charges
If you have a criminal case, traffic ticket case, or civil citation case pending against you, you should call an attorney. A records search can show you what cases are pending against you – but if you find cases on there that you didn’t know about, you should contact a lawyer right away.
If there is a case against you in the courts and you didn’t know about it, it is likely there is also a bench warrant for your arrest. If you failed to appear at a court date, the judge might issue a bench warrant for you. A police officer who comes across you for another issue (e.g., a traffic stop) might be able to arrest you and take you to court to face the charges against you. This might mean sitting in jail while you await trial. In these circumstances, you should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to get the bench warrant taken care of before you get arrested.
If there are records of charges against you, you may also need to fight those charges in court. Our Baltimore criminal defense attorneys can represent you throughout your case and fight to get charges dropped and dismissed. Our lawyers work to challenge the evidence in your case, potentially making it impossible for the police and prosecutors to prove the charges. We also work to negotiate charges with the prosecution, potentially getting some of the charges dropped before trial or negotiating plea deals that might help you avoid conviction of serious offenses or might help keep you out of jail.
Getting Criminal Records Expunged
If your records search turns up old cases, you may be able to file for expungement. Many old charges no longer reflect who you are today, and keeping a public record of those charges can be bad for you when applying for jobs, loans, or other benefits. These records can be “sealed” or “expunged” in many cases, deleting the records from public listings.
Talk to a lawyer about whether you qualify for expungement in your criminal case. Many criminal charges require that you already paid all fines, served your time, and waiting a certain time before the charge can be expunged.
Call Our Baltimore Criminal Defense Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one needs help having criminal records expunged or you have a current case pending against you, our Baltimore criminal defense attorneys may be able to help. Rice, Murtha & Psoras represent the accused in Baltimore and throughout Maryland, working to get charges dropped and dismissed to keep our clients out of jail. For a free legal consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (410) 694-7291.