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How can I get a DUI charge removed from my driving record if the court dispistion was STET?

Lexington Park, MD |

I was charged with a DUI/DWI and everything possible that an officer can charge with like reckless driving and endangerment of property and people. The court dispistion was STET for all charges. I was offered a job but when my driving record was pulled up. All the charges were all there resulting in my job offer being denied. How can I correct this? Since I wasnt convicted of the crime.

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

First, let's separate a few issues here: Your "driving record" is different from your criminal/traffic offense record. The driving record is issued by the Motor Vehicle Administration, and can only show convictions (guilty findings) of traffic violations, plus any points, restrictions, suspensions or revocations imposed as a result of violations of the traffic code. A "stet" disposition, as well as dismissals, acquittals, nolle prosequis, etc., will not appear on your MVA driving record. So your employer did not see the stetted charges there. Rather, your employer pulled your criminal/traffic offense history, which shows every arrest, charge and ultimate disposition of every case lodged against you (but not juvenile offenses). This history can be obtained from a public records search of the Maryland Judiciary Case Search system, available for free over the internet, or through a request to the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS), which covers all states and federal jurisdictions at once. A CJIS search can only be performed by law enforcement agencies for lawful investigatory purposes, or by private persons (and entities like your employer) pursuant to a written authorization you provided to them allowing them to request this information from CJIS. Now, a stetted case is not a dismissed case. It is a case placed on an inactive docket and the prosecution is "stayed conditionally" by joint request of the prosecutor and defense, under approval of the court, which may be removed from the stet docket for any reason during the first year it is on the stet docket, by either the defendant or the prosecutor, and set back in for trial. After one year, the case may only be removed by motion and good cause shown by the party asking it to be removed. Typically, a stetted case stays stetted and is never prosecuted. Assuming that you have complied with and completed all the special conditions of any agreement you made with the prosecutor in order to have the case placed on the stet docket, you may be able to file a motion to dismiss the case at this point, so that it is no longer "out there" in suspended status. Otherwise, you can file a petition for expungement using forms available at any district court location, so long as three years has passed since the case was placed on the stet docket. If three years has not passed yet, you can file a motion and a court can grant early expungement "upon good cause shown." An expungement will have the effect of sealing from public view all evidence of the stetted charges, including the removal of the information from the online case search system and CJIS. It will not reach FBI-maintained databases (the FBI receives all CJIS data and downloads it into its own data banks); therefore, if you apply for a federal job, criminal background checks will go through the FBI and they will be found, so do not lie about the charges on federal applications, assuming they ask for arrests and charges, and not just convictions. For all non-federal employment, the Maryland expungement statute allows you to deny ever having been charged or arrested for an expunged case, and makes it a crime for any employer to ask you to divulge whether you have had any offense expunged. Hope this helps.

Posted

If you have petitioned for expungment, then the court should remove the charge. If you have pointed out the error to the MVA, and they refuse to remove it, then you might have to seek a writ of mandamus from a court.

Asker

Posted

Is this process any different for California than it is for Maryland to expunge the charge without a conviction? Thank you.

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