Obviously, everyone would love to have their criminal record expunged, but only some cases qualify. Expungement means information about a criminal offense is removed from court and law enforcement records, as though it never happened.
What Types of Records can be Expunged?
There are several types of records that may be eligible for expungement. In Maryland, these records include Motor Vehicle Administration files, police records, and court and police files. In some cases, some files are automatically expunged. For example, if you were detained by a police agency, but released without any charges, records are automatically expunged within 60 days of release if it happened October 1, 2007 or later.
Who can File for Expungement?
There are some situations in which expungements may apply. Several of these include:
- Maryland’s Governor pardoned you within the last 10 years;
- The case was initially filed in criminal court but later moved to juvenile court (if you were charged as an adult, you will have two records)
- You were convicted of marijuana possession and four years have passed
- The court indefinitely postponed your case and three years have passed
- You were convicted of a misdemeanor under Maryland Code of Criminal Procedure 10-110 and 10 years have passed
- You were convicted of common law battery and 15 years have passed
There are a variety of scenarios in which expungement may be applicable, which is why it is important to retain a knowledgeable Maryland criminal defense attorney.
Process of Filing for Expungement
The process of filing for expungement is fairly straightforward. You fill out a Petition for Expungement of Records, which has two versions depending on whether your petition is based on an acquittal, dismissal, etc., versus a guilty verdict. You may need to also fill out a General Waiver and Release and pay applicable fees, if required. Once you file the proper documents, you may or may not receive an expungement. In some cases, not all records are eliminated.
In most cases, there is a specific waiting period for each type of case and whether a General Waiver and Release is filed. The General Waiver and Release releases all persons and agencies from any claims regarding the arrest or detention.
If you are requesting that multiple agencies expunge records, you will need to make separate requests with each agency as there is no procedure that expunges all records across agencies.
Disclosing Expunged Matters
People often wonder if they are required to tell someone they had a record expunged, and the answer to that is no! Maryland employers and educational institutions cannot require you disclose expunged information about yourself in connection with employment or admission to school. The State of Maryland can not require you to disclose expunged information when you apply for some licenses, permits, or registrations.
Retaining a Charles County Criminal Defense Attorney
Do you have questions about having criminal records expunged? Let one of our knowledgeable criminal attorneys help you through this process. If you or a loved one is currently facing criminal charges in Charles County or another nearby location, contact the Law Office of Robert Castro at 301-870-1200 or visit our website www.castrolawgroup.com.