Past mistakes can come back to haunt you. A criminal record will follow you for years, negatively impacting many parts of your life. Background checks are usually required for everything from renting an apartment to applying for a personal loan. More importantly, many job applications require a background check. If you have a criminal record, you could find your employment opportunities limited. However, you could file a motion for expungement to clear your record. Our Maryland expungement attorney from the Law Offices of Randolph Rice discusses employment background checks and expungements below.
An expungement is a legal process where your criminal records are removed from the public record, including the databases kept by local and state law enforcement, the Maryland court system, and other relevant local and state agencies.
It is not uncommon to have to undergo a pre-employment background check when applying for a new job in Maryland. If you have a criminal record, your potential employer will see any information regarding your arrests or convictions. However, if your record was expunged, these records will typically not appear on your background check.
There are some rare instances where your record will still appear in some public or private databases. Sometimes, after an expungement order is entered, the court fails to properly notify all the appropriate authorities. In other instances, records of your incident appear in newspaper archives or on social media. It is essential to have an experienced Maryland expungement attorney handling your case. While an expungement might seem straightforward, Maryland’s expungement laws are complicated. Any error or omission could result in a denial or another negative outcome.
When your record has been expunged, it is removed from public access. It can only be opened through a court order or by the State’s attorney through an ex parte application showing good cause.
Under Md. Code Ann., Com. Law § 10-109(a)(1)(2), you may not be required to disclose any information regarding your expungement to a potential employer, educational institute, or a government licensing agency. Furthermore, an employer is prohibited from not hiring someone for the sole reason of refusing to discuss their expunged criminal record. If you have any questions regarding your rights regarding an employer and your expunged records, contact our Maryland expungement attorney immediately.
It is possible to be arrested and not charged with a crime. If you were arrested in Maryland and not charged, your record would be automatically expunged within sixty days of your release.
If you were charged with a crime in Maryland but not arrested, you are eligible to petition for an expungement under specific circumstances. If your charge was dismissed, then you are permitted to file for an expungement. Additionally, in cases where the prosecution dropped the charges against you, your case was indefinitely postponed by the court, or if your case was settled without a conviction, then an expungement could be available.
In Maryland, if you were placed on probation before judgment, you are permitted to expunge your record; unless the charges were driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated. Finally, if you were found not guilty, then our Maryland expungement attorney could petition the court on your behalf.
There is typically a waiting period of three years in the above cases before you are permitted to file a motion for expungement. In some cases, our office could attempt to show good cause why your record should be expunged sooner. In other situations, you could sign a general waiver that eliminates any police liability for your arrest and file for an expungement within the three-year waiting period.
If you have a subsequent criminal conviction or currently have other criminal proceedings pending, you will not be eligible for an expungement, even if you were not convicted.
If you were convicted of a crime in Maryland, whether you are permitted to seek an expungement will depend on your specific charge.
Under Maryland law, numerous felonies could be expunged. For example, some felonies that are eligible for expungement include theft, burglary, home invasion, and possession of a controlled substance with an intent to distribute. It is crucial to speak with our experienced Maryland expungement attorney if you have been charged and convicted of a felony. Another important note is that the waiting period for a felony is fifteen years from the date of the completion of your sentence, including probation.
A misdemeanor conviction could be eligible for expungement. Similar to felonies, Maryland’s law enumerates many offenses that qualify for expungement. Also, like a felony conviction, there is a mandatory waiting period before you can petition the court for an expungement. In the case of a misdemeanor conviction, the waiting period is ten years. However, if you were charged with a second-degree assault or a domestic violence charge, you will be required to wait fifteen years. In the unfortunate event that you are convicted of another crime during the waiting period, you will not be eligible to expunge any charge before you are eligible to expunge the new conviction.
Some people are convicted of minor nuisance crimes, including panhandling, public consumption of alcohol, or loitering. If you were convicted of a minor nuisance crime, you must wait three years to petition the court for an expungement.
You do not want a past mistake to destroy your employment opportunities. Luckily, Maryland provides individuals a means to expunge their criminal record, so past offenses do not appear on pre-employment background checks. If you have a criminal record you want to expunge, contact our Maryland expungement attorney. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.