Ocean City Shielding Lawyer
When you’re convicted of a crime, it becomes a matter of public record. This mandatory disclosure of your past mistakes can be a huge thorn in your side, even years after your case is resolved. Every time you fill out an application for a job, apartment, loan, or for anything else that requires a background check, you’ll be subject to scrutiny and labeled as someone with a criminal history. Fortunately, under the Maryland Shield Law, also known as the Maryland Second Chance Act, you are allowed to petition the court to shield all court and police records about your case from public view.
Attorney Richard J. Brueckner is a shielding attorney based in Ocean City who is committed to helping those looking for the opportunity to start over again with a clean slate. He has extensive knowledge of the shielding laws in the state and can help you navigate through the legalities of the shielding process.
Your past does not have to dictate your future. To learn whether or not you may be eligible for shielding your criminal records, get in touch with Richard J. Brueckner today by calling the office at 410-430-1464
Is Shielding the Same as Expungement?
The terms expungement and shielding are often used interchangeably but they are different. A shielded or sealed record means that your record is hidden from the general public (including on Maryland’s Judiciary Case Search); whereas an expunged record is destroyed. A shielded record does remain accessible to law enforcement officers as well as employers and educational institutions who are required or authorized by law to conduct criminal background checks. However, you are not personally required to disclose that you’ve had information shielded and cannot be penalized for withholding this information.
Which Convictions Are Eligible for Shielding?
Under the Maryland Second Chance Act, the following convictions are eligible for shielding:
- Disorderly Conduct under §10-201(c)(2) of the Criminal Law Article;
- Disturbing the Peace under §10-201(c)(4) of the Criminal Law Article;
- Failure to Obey a Reasonable and Lawful Order under §10-201(c)(3) of the Criminal Law Article;
- Malicious Destruction of Property in the Lesser Degree under §6-301 of the Criminal Law Article;
- Trespass on Posted Property under §6-402 of the Criminal Law Article;
- Possession or Administering a Controlled Dangerous Substance under §5-601 of the Criminal Law Article;
- Possession of Administering a Noncontrolled Dangerous Substance under §5-618(a) of the Criminal Law Article;
- Use of or Possession with Intent to Use Drug Paraphernalia under §5-619(c)(1) of the Criminal Law Article;
- Driving without a License under §16-101 of the Transportation Article;
- Driving While Privilege is Canceled, Suspended, Refused, or Revoked under §16-303 of the Transportation Article;
- Driving While Uninsured under §17-107 of the Transportation Article; or
- Prostitution under §11-306(a)(1) of the Criminal Law Article if the conviction is for Prostitution and not Assignation.
What Cannot Be Shielded?
Certain circumstances can make you ineligible for shielding including:
- you were convicted of a domestically related crime under § 6–233 of the Criminal Procedure Article
- you have a criminal proceeding still pending
- other convictions in a group of related charges are not eligible for shielding
- you were convicted of a new crime during the three-year waiting period of trying to get your former conviction shielded
When Can I File My Petition?
Before filing a request to shield your records, you must wait three years after you have completed the sentence imposed by the court for the crime/s you wish to shield. Attorney Brueckner can assist you in the actual filing of the petition in the Circuit or District Court where your case was heard. In Maryland, you can have only one shielding petition granted in your life but can include as many convictions as you want on your petition.
After you file the petition, the court will notify the State’s Attorney who will then inform the victims (if any) that you have taken this legal action. If the State’s Attorney or any of the victims object to your petition, the court will schedule a hearing which allows the judge to review more information from both sides before making a final decision.
Your Shielding Legal Advocate
Mr. Brueckner will represent you at this hearing and advocate on your behalf. Contact Mr. Brueckner today to learn more about Maryland’s Shielding Laws and how you can benefit from them. Tel:410-430-1464