Expungement is the process of wiping your criminal record, including records of your arrest and conviction. When you have your record expunged in Maryland, members of the general public will no longer be able to view your criminal history. If you get an expungement, the only people who will be able to access your criminal records are police officers, court officials (such as judges), and certain entities, such as prisons and public schools, that might need the information for safety reasons. Read on to learn more about who is eligible for expungement in Maryland, requirements to get an expungement in Maryland, and other important information about wiping your criminal record. If you need help expunging your criminal record in Maryland, contact Baltimore expungement lawyer Randolph Rice for a free consultation today.
Do You Have to Tell Employers About Expunged Records or Information?
As explained above, expungement effectively seals your criminal record from most of the population, with exceptions for public schools, courts, prisons, and several other types of organizations. Beyond prosecutors, judges, police officers, and a few other select individuals, almost no one will be able to view information about the expunged arrest or conviction. Therefore, even though it does not wipe the slate completely clean, an expungement can still help to give you a fresh start when you are trying to move forward with your life.
This brings up an important and frequently asked question: Do you have to tell a prospective employer about your expungement? In general, the answer is no. As the Maryland Judiciary explains, under state law, “A Maryland employer… may not require, as a condition of employment… that you disclose expunged information about yourself.” Fortunately, the same rule also applies to Maryland colleges and their admissions decisions, making it easier to get a quality education. An experienced Baltimore criminal defense lawyer, like Randolph Rice, can help you understand your legal rights as a student or job seeker.
Am I Eligible to Expunge My Record in Maryland?
The answer to this question is different for everyone. It depends on factors like what offense you were convicted of, when you were convicted, and how the court handled your case. For example, you may be eligible to expunge your criminal record for possession of marijuana if four years or more have passed since the date of your conviction. You will not be eligible for an expungement until at least four years have passed.
Different requirements apply for other types of offenses. For instance, you may be able to expunge any of the following misdemeanors if 10 years or more have passed since your conviction date:
- Assault in the second degree (misdemeanor offenses)
- Breaking and entering a motor vehicle
- Certain offenses involving bad checks
- Certain white collar (financial) crimes, like operating a pyramid scheme
- Criminal contempt
- Disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace
- Malicious burning of personal property
- Possession of CDS (controlled dangerous substances, i.e. misdemeanor drug possession)
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Theft (larceny)
- Trespassing, under certain circumstances
If you are trying to expunge a record involving battery or domestic violence offenses, you must wait a period of 15 years from the date of conviction before you are eligible. You may also be able to expunge your criminal record in the following scenarios:
- The court decided to postpone your case indefinitely, and at least three years have passed since that time.
- You have received a formal pardon from the governor of Maryland at any time during the past decade.
- You were acquitted (meaning you were found “not guilty”), and at least three years have passed since the date of your acquittal.
- You were initially tried as an adult in Maryland’s criminal courts, but were later moved into the juvenile court system.
- You were convicted of an offense which is no longer illegal.
- Your case was dismissed, and at least three years have passed since the date of dismissal.
How Do You File for Expungement in Maryland?
If you meet the state’s eligibility criteria for expungement, the next step is to actually wipe your record clean. So how do you begin the Maryland expungement process?
The best first step you can take is to contact a knowledgeable expungements attorney for assistance. Though the benefits can be immense, the process of filing for an expungement can be complicated and demanding, requiring you to complete and submit various forms and petitions. You may also need to pay outstanding fees, such as criminal fines and court fees that have not been waived. A criminal expungement lawyer can handle these procedures efficiently and strategically, giving you a stronger chance of success. Otherwise, there is a greater risk of an expungement denial.
Baltimore Expungement Attorney Randolph Rice Can Help Wipe Your Criminal Record
When you’re trying to move on with your life after a criminal conviction, an expungement can give you the boost you need by helping to wipe the slate clean. With an expungement, it is easier to rebuild and start over.
If you need help getting a fresh start, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice online for a free consultation about how a criminal defense attorney may be able to assist you. You can also contact us by calling (410) 694-7291. We are available to provide assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.