Check with a criminal defense lawyer BEFORE you plead guilty
Before you plead guilty, you need to consider what you are doing before you have a criminal record for the rest of your life. ONLY if you receive Probation Before Judgment (staying the impostition of guilt under Criminal Procedure Section 6-220), will you be eligible for expungement. Unless you get a pardon (which is a long and unlikely process).
Maryland criminal defense lawyers are the best to ask about whether you will be eligible for expungement. Don't ask the clerk's office or the judge. They are not able to give you legal advice. You can, however, download an expungement form from the Maryland Court website (http://www.courts.state.md.us/courtforms/joint/ccdccr072.pdf). Then, you will know what type of information is required on the application before you talk to me.
The limited grounds for expungement
There are a limited number of cases with grounds for expungement, which include:
1) Not Guilty.
2) Nolle prosequi - this means that the government dismissed your charges voluntarily, sometimes in exchange for community service or a drug treatment program.
3) Stet - this means the government fell short of dismissing your case, but they placed it on the shelf for three years. If you didn't get re-arrested or violate some other condition of the Stet (like anger management, community service, or drug treatment), chances are the case was never brought back to the active docket.
4) Probation Before Judgment.
5) Certain minor crimes like public urination and failure to pay Metro fare.
With each one of these, there is typically a waiting period of 3 years unless you file a General Waiver and Release form.
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