Being convicted of a crime can be a terrifying and scarring experience for anyone, but it will be made all the worse if the judge sentences you to prison time. Many folks who are sent to prison for their crimes feel hopeless knowing that even when they get out, they will be an ex-convict with a criminal record haunting them as they try to find jobs, gain professional licenses, or apply for certain financial aid. While some serious crimes that result in prison cannot be expunged from your record, there are a surprising number of misdemeanor and even felony convictions in Maryland that can be expunged from your record even if you were sentenced to jail. Below, our experienced expungement attorneys in Maryland at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice explain when you can get your criminal record expunged if you served jail time and how we can help you accomplish this.
The particular punishment you faced for your conviction, including if you are sentenced to jail time, is not relevant to whether or not you can get your crime expunged. The three factors that are relevant are the particular disposition or your case, the particular crime you were accused of, and the length of time that has passed since you completed your sentence. If you faced jail time, this means you must have been convicted or plead guilty, meaning the rules regarding arrests not leading to conviction and other dispositions are not relevant in your case. If you face a different type of disposition that you would like to get expunged, however, reach out to our skilled Maryland expungement attorneys at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice for the best, most up-to-date advice.
While many convictions for the most serious offenses like murder, manslaughter, and rape are not eligible for expungement, some crimes that may lead to incarceration, like second-degree assault, are. As such, even if you think the crime of which you were convicted seems too serious to be eligible for expungement, it is always a good idea to check in with an experienced expungement attorney like those at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice just in case. Most eligible misdemeanor and felony convictions are listed under Criminal Procedure § 10-110, although there are some other parts of the code that also make separate convictions expungable.
The final factor that must be considered in determining if your crime is eligible is the statutory waiting period before an expungement can occur. A conviction for any misdemeanor listed under Criminal Procedure Article § 10-110 cannot be expunged before 10 years have passed since you satisfied the sentence, including prison time as well as parole, probation, or mandatory supervision. A conviction for any felony listed under this same section cannot be expunged until 15 years after the sentence has been satisfied. For petitions based on a violation of Criminal Law Article § 3-203, common law battery, or an offense classified as a domestically related crime under Criminal Procedure Article § 6-233, the most common other areas of the code where offenses are made expungable, you will have to wait 15 years after the satisfaction of the sentence whether it was a misdemeanor or a felony.
While you are technically able to file a petition for an expungement on your own, the process can be very complex and timely and it is never wise to do it without a knowledgeable Maryland criminal defense attorney like those at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice by your side making things as simple as possible. The first thing we will do is request an official copy of your criminal record from the state so we can make sure you correctly remember all your charges and when they occurred. We will assess which of the dispositions are eligible, and prepare petitions for expungement for each one. You cannot submit a petition for all of your expungable offenses if you have multiple, you must prepare and submit them individually.
Once you have signed the petitions, we will submit them to the proper courts and notify the necessary authorities like the police where the arrest occurred. If the prosecutor or court raise any objections to the petition, which is rare if we have correctly determined that you qualify, we can deal with this and even appear in court at a hearing to argue that the petition be granted if necessary. Once the petition is granted, the matter will be removed from your state criminal history and will not show up on official state background checks, unless there is an exception for expungable crimes, like in the case of those applying for the military. Some private background check companies may have outdated records that do not reflect your expungement, but if you ask them to correct this and submit a copy of the expungement they will usually do so. To get the matter removed from the FBI’s national criminal database, the appropriate state agency will have to contact them and inform them that an expungement has bee granted.
Though many criminal convictions that lead to prison sentences are not currently expungable under Maryland law, some are. However, there is always a waiting period of at least 10 years before a petition for expungement of a conviction can be filed with the court. If you think you may potentially be eligible for an expungement, reach out to our skilled Maryland expungement attorneys at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice so that we can assess your situation and file the petitions if you are eligible. Once your conviction has been expunged, it will not generally show up on background checks and you will not have to disclose it to most potential employers. For a free consultation, call us today at (410) 826-5656.