No one wants to have a criminal record follow them around for the rest of their lives. A criminal record can affect your ability to get a job, get a loan or credit card, or even apply for apartment rentals. In some cases, you may be able to get your record expunged, or “erased” from the Maryland court system. Here’s what you need to know.
What Can Be Expunged?
You can only get your records expunged under certain circumstances, and the expungment applies to both your arrest records and the records of your prosecution.
- Not guilty or case dismissed. If you were exonerated or your case was dismissed, your records may be expunged.
- No prosecution or indefinite hold. If your case was put on an indefinite hold or the state decided against prosecution, you may be eligible for an expungement.
- You were granted a pardon by the Governor. A full pardon may allow you to get your records expunged.
- The crime you were convicted of is not a crime anymore. If the law changed and the crime you were charged with is no longer a crime, your records may be expungable.
Most of these have to do with being found not guilty or being pardoned — what if you were actually found guilty of a crime? In certain cases — usually misdemeanors, you may still be able to have your records expunged from Maryland criminal databases if you have satisfied the court’s requirements. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you determine if your specific charge is eligible for expungement.
Not Everything Can Be Expunged
There are many instances in which a criminal record cannot be expunged. For example, if you are convicted of a new crime within three years of the previous crime, the old records cannot be expunged. Many felonies, alcohol-related offenses like DUI/DWI or death caused by DUI/DWI, and many sex crimes are not eligible for expungement at any time, regardless of whether you have satisfied the court’s requirements.
When to Contact a Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you believe that your criminal record may qualify for expungement, it would benefit you greatly to do so. Find out if you meet the eligibility requirements and what your next steps will be by contacting Richard J. Brueckner for a consultation. Attorney Brueckner will review your case and all related records in detail to determine if you may be eligible and will walk you through the process. Call now at 410-430-1464.