A new expungement law in Maryland will expand the number of criminal convictions a person can request to expunge from public records. Minor criminal convictions and misdemeanor offenses from decades ago can impact a person’s ability to get a job, be eligible for federal student aid, possess a firearm, and prevent access to other opportunities.
What is Expungement?
Expungement is a process to “erase” or “seal” certain criminal convictions. Expungement removes information about a case from court and law enforcement records. A Maryland employer or educational institution may not require, as a condition of employment or admission, that you disclose expunged information about yourself. (Md. Code, Criminal Procedure § 10-109.)
Justice Reinvestment Act of 2016
Effective October 1, 2017, a person may file a petition listing relevant facts for expungement of a police, court, or other record if the person is convicted of specified misdemeanors. The new law expands the types of criminal convictions eligible for expungement, including: possession of drug paraphernalia, misdemeanor theft under $1,000, prostitution, and crimes that are no longer crimes, like possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana. A petition for expungement may not be filed earlier than 10 years after the person satisfied the sentence or sentences imposed for all convictions for which expungement is requested, including parole, probation, or mandatory supervision. There is a $30 nonrefundable filing fee. For specified crimes (including misdemeanor second-degree assault), a minimum waiting period of 15 years is required. In general, a person must file a petition for expungement in the court in which the proceeding began. However, Chapter 515 specifies procedures for situations involving transfers to another court or the juvenile court. In addition, the law specifies procedural requirements regarding objections to a petition, hearings, and appeals.
For More Information
Call us for a consultation at (301) 952-9000 or visit our website at www.patriotslawgroup.com.
Visit the Maryland Courts Expungement page: http://www.courts.state.md.us/legalhelp/expungement.html