You can only expunge charges that you were either (a) found NOT GUILTY at trial, (b) the State entered the matter Nolle Prosequi (not prosecuted), (c) you were granted Probation Before Judgment, or (d) the matter was placed on the Stet (inactive) docket, and three years have elapsed.
If you were convicted, then the charge cannot be expunged. Your only remedy is filing a petition to the Governor for a pardon.
These are only general rules regarding the expungement process. I would need more information to properly answer your question.
Whether you can expunge a criminal record in Maryland depends principally upon how the Court resolved the case, i.e. the final disposition, and any other arrests/offenses on your criminal record. Any case where at least one charge resulted in a conviction is not eligible for expungement, unless the Court later set aside or otherwise dismissed the conviction (such as, in a probation before judgment). Please see below more detailed information on expungement, the related issues of FBI arrest records and pardons, as well as instructions on you can confirm the status of your case in the Maryland court system.
MARYLAND RECORD & EXPUNGEMENT
I have written a Legal Guide on Maryland Expungement, which tells you how to access your record and I hope can answer your question in greater detail. Please click on the following link:
FBI RECORD & UPDATE REQUEST
You will likely have a record with the FBI because of the fact that you were fingerprinted in conjunction with your arrest. Unfortunately, most state law enforcement agencies send only the arrest charges to the FBI and do not update the record to reflect the final disposition of the case. This often confuses employers who look at the record and mistakenly assume that an applicant was convicted of all charges from an arrest. It is therefore helpful to obtain a copy of your record, and then to request that the FBI update the information to show which charges are actual convictions and which were dismissed.
Finally, if you are ineligible for expungement, you may want to look into requesting a Pardon. This is a time-consuming process and does not expunge the record, but does help mitigate its effects. Please see the link below for more information on the Maryland Pardons. I am also in the process of drafting a Legal Guide on the subject, so please check back with avvo.com soon.
Best of luck,
Lisa Manning, Esq.
1629 K Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 747-2880 fax
NOTE: This post provides general information on expungement. The information contained herein is not intended as legal advice, and you should therefore not act upon it before consulting with professional legal counsel. To obtain legal services from any law firm, including Record Absolutions, you must first establish an attorney-client relationship. This requires personal contact with us, and our determination that we are willing to take the engagement. Until all of these steps are complete, you have not hired an attorney and have not become a client of the firm. Thank you for your understanding.
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