A criminal conviction or arrest record can follow you around for the rest of your life, making it difficult for you to find work, get a loan or even qualify for housing in Baltimore. It can also cause untold damage to your personal reputation should it be discovered by anyone other than those you feel comfortable knowing about it. If you have seen a past criminal action or arrest impede or embarrass you in any way, you may be desperately searching for a way to have it removed from any records associated with you. Yet is this possible?
You’ll be pleased to know that it is through the state’s process of expungement. Once a conviction or arrest has been expunged it will no longer appear on any court or law enforcement records. However, this privilege is only available to you if you meet certain criteria. According to the Maryland Judiciary, these are:
- If you show good cause if the act you were convicted of is no longer considered to be a crime, if your criminal case was eventually transferred to juvenile court or you were pardoned by the Governor.
- If three years has passed since the act and you were convicted of certain public nuisance offenses, or the court either indefinitely postponed your case or you received probation before judgment (except in the case of DUI/DWI offenses).
- If three years has passed since the act or you file a General Waiver and Release Form, and you were either acquitted or the state chose not to prosecute you.
If, however, you received probation and later appeared as a defendant in another criminal case, you do not qualify for expungement. The same is true if you have any subsequent conviction (other than minor traffic offenses) after having received probation.