Imagine for a moment that you are in your early twenties, attending college, enjoying your freedoms and staying out of trouble – for the most part. But you may have run into some issues with the law: a college party shut down by police, citations handed out, charges of having an open container, CDS possession or being drunk and disorderly. Years down the road when you are in your thirties and seeking new employment, those minor infractions from years prior are public record and are 100% searchable by your potential employers. And, despite the excuses surrounding those blemishes on your record, you lose out on the job.
This scenario is a reality for a huge portion of Maryland’s residents, whether you were young and reckless but have turned yourself around, or just enjoying college life and are now seeking a job with your well deserved education. A criminal record can follow you and ruin your chances for the dream job you worked so hard for.
But fortunately, there is a way to have previous charges that are on your record removed from the public eye: having them expunged.
What is Expungement
An expungement is a proceeding whereby you and your lawyer request that certain charges be removed from your record and thereby make them unavailable to state and federal repositories. More often than not, expungements are for first time offenders and those with criminal charges from their youth, but anyone may request an expungement hearing for charges that are eligible. There are many that are not eligible and they include murder, felonies, rape, sexual crimes, and serious weapons charges.
What is the New Maryland Expungement Law?
A new Maryland law just passed last year will now expand the types of charges that can be expunged and will, for the first time, allow people to have certain misdemeanor convictions removed from their records. In the past ten years, Maryland has already seen the number of expungements almost double. With this newly passed legislation, we are likely to see an influx of expungement trials in coming years. There are about 73,000 criminal cases that were dropped in Maryland courts but that still remain as a mark on the records of those who were accused.
What Can I have expunged from my Record in Maryland?
Under the new law, people may now seek to have the following convictions for offenses that are no longer a crime and also those that are considered non-violent misdemeanors expunged, such as:
- Possession of a small amount of Marijuana (Now decriminalized in Maryland)
- Disorderly conduct
- and more
Del. Jill Cart, a Baltimore Democrat who sponsored the bill, says “It’s almost a no-brainer; if you aren’t convicted of something, you should be able to have it expunged.” Critics of the new law include many landlords and employers who argue that they need as much information as possible about someone’s arrest history when deciding who to hire and who to let reside on their property, and that by shielding this information they may suffer bad consequences.
If you were arrested for a crime that was later dropped, or you were not convicted for, or were arrested for a crime that has since been decriminalized, you can have your record expunged and removed from public view, making employment and other opportunities more attainable. DRA e-Law is making it a priority to have the records of Maryland’s innocent residents expunged. They are highly experienced and versed on this particular process and the new laws that were just passed, making them an excellent choice to represent you in your Maryland Expungement Hearing.
Please visit our new Expungement page and follow the instructions to see if you any charges that may qualify for an expungement. Call (410) 332-8404 or contact us online to start a request for your consultation.