“Shield” means to render a court record and police record relating to a conviction of one of twelve specified crimes
inaccessible by members of the public. This authorization does not apply to a conviction for a domestically related crime.
Shielding keeps some or all information in a case private from public inspection, under certain circumstances.
Expungement removes court and police records from public inspection.
The filing fee is $30 and is nonrefundable, even if the petition is denied. The fee is for all eligible cases contained
within the petition, not per case. If you cannot afford the fee, you may request that the court waive the filing fee.
In the circuit or District Court in which the case(s) was concluded. A person is only eligible for one (1) shielding over the person’s lifetime, and must decide to petition to shield criminal convictions in either the circuit or District Court AND in only one (I) county. For instance, if a person has more than one (1) eligible conviction in both circuit and District Courts in various counties, you may only petition in one (1) Court (circuit or District), in one (1) County.
A person may be granted only one (1) shielding petition over the person’s lifetime.
A person may petition to shield their court record no earlier than three (3) years after the person satisfies the sentence imposed for all convictions for which shielding is requested, including parole, probation, or mandatory supervision.
If the person is a defendant in a pending criminal proceeding, their records are not eligible for shielding.
If the person is convicted of a new crime during the applicable time period, the original conviction or convictions are not eligible for shielding unless the new conviction becomes eligible for shielding.
If the person is not eligible for shielding of one conviction in a “unit,” the person is not eligible for shielding of any other conviction in the unit. “Unit” means two (2) or more convictions that arise from the same incident, transaction, or set of facts.
A person or an attorney files a petition to shield conviction records with the appropriate Court. The Court then serves the petition for shielding on the State’s Attorney’s Office and sends written notice to all listed victims in the case(s) in which shielding is being requested. The State’s Attorney’s Office has thirty (30) days to file an objection. In addition, the victim(s) has/have the right to object or offer additional information relevant to the petition for shielding in all proposed actions. If an objection is filed, the Court will hold a hearing. If no objection is filed, a Judge will grant or deny the Petition. The Court will issue an Order for Shielding for each case listed where shielding was granted.
The Maryland Judiciary Case Search website may not in any way refer to the existence of specific shielded records.
A shielded record must remain fully accessible by:
Yes; however, an employer may not require a person who applies for employment to disclose shielded information about criminal charges in an application, an interview, or otherwise. They also may not discharge or refuse to hire a person solely because the person refused to disclose information about criminal charges that have been shielded.
An education institution may not require a person who applies for admission to the institution to disclose shielded
information about criminal charges in an application, an interview, or otherwise. They also may not expel or refuse to admit a person solely because the person refused to disclose information about criminal charges that have been shielded.
A unit, official, or employee of the State or political subdivision of the State cannot require a person who applies for a
permit, registration, or government service to disclose shielded information about criminal charges in an application, interview, or otherwise. They also cannot deny a person’s application for a permit, registration, or government service solely because a person refused to disclose information about shielded criminal charges.
All information provided by the Maryland Courts Form CC-DC-CR-148A (10/2015)