Maryland Record Expungement is Available in Many Criminal Cases
An Annapolis record expungement attorney can help you prevent others from seeing your criminal record
Just because you were arrested or convicted of a crime in Maryland does not mean your record has to stay open to the public forever. Having your record expunged, sealed, or erased so it can’t be found in public searches can help in several respects. Many employers now run criminal background checks. Expunged records should not be seen in these searches. Some apartment complexes also run criminal background checks. Loan companies and other businesses may run them as well. Getting your criminal record expunged is a valuable way of helping you get hired, move into a new locations, or get the financial aid you need.
My name is Gill Andrew Cochran, and I can help with record expungement in many types of cases. If you were not ultimately found guilty of a crime, there is a good chance your record can be expunged. Nuisance crimes and some nonviolent crimes can also be expunged. As part of your criminal case, Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law works to protect you by taking the necessary legal steps to expunge your criminal record.
The right to expungement in non-conviction cases
Please know that expungement is generally not always automatic — even in non-conviction cases. You need the help of an experienced Annapolis criminal expungement lawyer who understands what legal documents need to be followed. Your record can be expunged in the following types of non-conviction cases:
- You were never formally charged with a crime even though you were arrested. Arrests after October 1, 2007 are generally automatically expunged 60 days after your custody release date.
- You were arrested and you were formally charged with a crime, and there was no conviction. You can formally request an expungement if:
- The charges were dismissed.
- The charges were subject to nolle prosequi, which means they were dropped but that they can be reopened at a later date.
- The case is postponed indefinitely — formally called being placed on the stet docket.
- You were acquitted.
- The case was transferred to juvenile court.
- You entered into an arrangement where you were placed on Probation Before Judgment — essentially you were told if you stay out of trouble for a preset amount of time, then the charges will be dropped.
Generally, there is a three-year waiting period in order to request an expungement unless you can show good cause. I will help you assert good cause such as you need a clean record to get a place to live.
There are exceptions. You cannot request criminal expungement if there are new criminal charges against you, the charges were related to domestic violence, or the charges were due to drunk driving.
Expungement in cases where there is a conviction
You may qualify to have your record expunged if the conviction was for a nonviolent crime and the Governor of Maryland granted a full pardon. Minor nuisance crimes can be expunged without a pardon. Examples of nuisance crimes that can be expunged include:
- Urinating or defecating in a public place
- Sleeping overnight in a park
- Riding public transportation without paying
Some minor misdemeanors can be shielded but not expunged. (The net effect is the same.) Shielding is less formal. These misdemeanors include:
- Driving without insurance
- Driving without having a license
- Driving with a suspended license or a license that has been canceled or revoked
- Disturbing the peace
- Malicious destruction of property that has low value
Possession or administering of some narcotics and drug paraphernalia may also be eligible for shielding.
Traffic violations that do not carry a possibility of jail time generally cannot be expunged or shielded. Expungement generally applies to charges that have a possibility of incarceration.
For answers to your expungement questions, please contact an experienced Annapolis criminal defense lawyer
Going through the criminal process is a nightmare. When your case is over, you want it to be finished, especially if you were not convicted or the crime was a minor one. In many cases, Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law can help you get on with your life by filing the necessary papers so that the public can’t see your criminal records. To learn when your record can be expunged and how, please call me at 410-777-8103 or fill out my contact form. I’m ready to speak with you about your criminal case.
And remember: Keep Calm – and Call Drew.