Expungement

Maryland's Expungement Laws provide a limited tool for most persons with criminal histories.   The law allows ONLY NON-CONVICTIONS to be expunged (although convictions for “homeless” nuisance crimes  like panhandling or MTA-related offenses can now  be expunged).   There’s a myth that Misdemeanors can be expunged.  It’s a myth!  Convictions are convictions.  Felony or misdemeanors.  Non-Convictions are:

  • Probations Before Judgment
  • Stets
  • Nol Pross’s
  • Dismissals
  • Acquittals

WORSE– for the first three charges above, the right to expunge will depend on behavior after the charge.  In short, it's conditional--the right to expunge is lost upon a subsequent conviction of an offense that carries a possible incarceration sentence.  For example, a drug possession charge that was Steted in 2001 cannot be expunged if the petitioner was convicted in 2005 of theft.   

There's more:  Stets and PBJs have a three year waiting period (from the charge), but expungement for the rest of the dispositions above can be filed at any time (with a “Waiver” or "release of possible claims vs. law enforcement for the arrest).  

Expungement is a good tool for someone who has never been convicted,  or who has been convicted only of a nuisance crime.

Here is a link to the Maryland  Judiciary website, which contains expungement information and forms:  http://mdcourts.gov/courtforms/joint/ccdccr072br.pdf

Here is a link to the expungement petition itself:  http://www.courts.state.md.us/courtforms/joint/ccdccr072.pdf

Here is link to the Waiver form that needs to be filed with a Nol Pross related expungement petition if the petition if being filed within three years of the Nol Pross:  http://www.courts.state.md.us/courtforms/joint/ccdccr078.pdf

Expungement of Nuisance crimes:  http://www.courts.state.md.us/district/forms/criminal/dccr072a.pdf

Attached below is an expungment presentation power point.  A more expansive one that encompasses Title VII is also attached. 

AttachmentSize
Human Rts of Person w Crim Histories Presentation Aberdeen.ppt249.5 KB
Expungement in Maryland.ppt153 KB

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