In the state of Maryland, records can be expunged from Motor Vehicle Administration files, police files, and court files. Each agency requires its own filing process- no single filing expunges records from all three at the same time.
Motor Vehicle records are expunged automatically after 3 years. If you were detained by a police agency but no charges were filed, records will be expunged automatically within 60 days of release from police custody (this rule became effective on 10/01/2007; if you were detained prior to this date the records may still exist).
Court files are not automatically expunged. A court record may be expunged if:
- The court ruled that you were not guilty
- You were found guilty but the charge was for certain types of nuisance crimes
- The case resulted in a probation before judgment (except in drunk driving cases)
- The attorney did not prosecute your charge
- The court indefinitely postponed your case or the case was settled
- You were convicted of only one non-violent crime, and were granted a pardon by the Governor (rarely issued)
Expungement is not available under the following circumstances:
- If you are a defendant in a pending criminal proceeding or investigation
- If you received probation before judgment and have since been convicted of another crime
- In civil cases, unless the civil charge was a substitute for a criminal charge
Maryland expungement statutes list specific time frames for each stage of the filing process. The entire expungement process should take about 90 days from the time of filing.
The process may be extended if an agency objects. Agencies have 30 days to object to any issues with the expungement. If the court denies the petition, the defendant is allowed up to 30 days from the denial to make an appeal.
If no agencies object to the petition, the court will proceed to issue an order for the expungement. A Certificate of Compliance will be mailed to the defendant verifying that the records have been expunged.
Do I need a lawyer to expunge a conviction in Maryland?
Perhaps – many Maryland expungement attorneys are experienced in obtaining expungement. Submit your legal situation to LegalMatch and find out if you have the favorable conditions to wipe your record clean.