An Maryland expungement is the removal of certain records from public view or inspection. If you are allowed a Maryland expungement of criminal records this means your police files, court files, and Motor Vehicle Administration files may be removed for certain crimes. Unfortunately, the Maryland expungement process only expunges certain arrest records; there is no expungement process to eliminate all of your criminal information from all agencies.
Who cannot have their criminal records expunged?
Unfortunately, there are many circumstances when charges cannot be expunged, including the following:
- If you are charged, convicted and found guilty of a crime the case cannot be discharged (except for certain nuisance crimes under Criminal Procedure §10-105(a)(9)).
- If you received a probation before judgment, a nolle prosequi, a stet, an unconditional pardon or conviction or finding of not criminally responsible of a specified public nuisance crime, and subsequently convicted of another crime or are a defendant in a pending criminal proceeding.
- A civil case, unless the court charges you with a civil offense instead of a criminal charge.
- You received a disposition of probation before judgment or guilty for a violation of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI) (Transportation Article §21-902, Criminal Law Article §2-503, 2-504, 2-505, or 2-506, or former Article 27 §388A or §388B).
- If you have been charged with multiple charges and one of the charges in the unit cannot be expunged.
- If you have been charged and convicted of a crime as a juvenile. Your juvenile records cannot be expunged, although they should be sealed and not allowed for public viewing.
What is probation before judgment?
If you have been arrested for DUI in Maryland you may have agreed to deferred adjudication or Probation before Judgment. Under this process the court can defer a judgment if the driver pleads guilty or no contest as long as certain conditions are met.
Under Probation for Judgment the judgment is not entered as a guilty plea and is not considered a conviction for a crime. This will allow the individual to avoid having to disclose this type of charge on some documents, such as a job application. Unfortunately, with probation for Judgment the charge may still be found if an employer does a full criminal background check.
Probation before judgment will also not allow the defendant to avoid all DUI penalties. For instance, the defendant may still be placed on probation, forced to pay fines, required to perform community service, required to serve time in jail or forced to participate in a drug rehabilitation program.
Although probation for judgment allows expungement after three years for certain crimes, assuming the defendant commits no other crimes, Md. Ann. Code, Crim. Proc. Art. 10-105(a)(3)) expressly excludes drunk driving charges (Md. Ann. Code, Transportation Article 21-902) if you have received a probation before judgment for drunk driving.
How do I file for Maryland expungement?
If you would like to file a Maryland expungement you must follow the following steps:
1. Request a Maryland expungement petition for Expungement of Police and Court Records (Form CC-DC-CR-072) and the General Wavier and Release (Form CC-DC-CR-078). Requests can be made at any District or circuit court. Forms are also available online at: www.mdcourts.gov.
2. Complete the Maryland expungement petition. To complete the form you will need to know the date of the arrest, the summons, or the date you were cited. You will also need the case number, the agency that took the action, the date the case was disposed, and the date you were charged. You also will need to make copies of the petition.
3. File the petition in the court where your case was concluded.
4. Pay all necessary filing fees.
The cost to file the petition could vary. The court clerk should be able to answer questions about the costs or direct you to the court’s online fee schedule. The filing fee will not be reimbursed, even if the petition is denied. Not guilty or acquittal charges can be requested and discharged without paying a fee.
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