A criminal record could negatively affect you for your entire life. If you have been dealing with the hurdles and problems of having a record that includes arrests, charges, or convictions and believe you have waited too long to address it, you can put that concern aside. There is no time limit on when you can file for an expungement. However, there are waiting periods if you qualify for one. The Law Offices of Randolph Rice has been assisting Maryland residents in navigating the complicated expungement laws for decades. Below, our Maryland expungement attorney looks at time limits and waiting periods associated with clearing your record.
Expungement is a legal process that removes your record from public inspection. Your records could be expunged from police files, court files, and Motor Vehicle Administration files. Records that are eligible for expungement are governed by a complicated series of rules and regulations. Fortunately, there is no time limit or deadline to file.
No singular process will remove your records from all agencies. While the expungement process might appear straightforward, you should have the assistance of our experienced Maryland expungement attorney. The law is very nuanced, and any mistake or procedural misunderstanding could result in your expungement being delayed or denied.
If you were arrested and not charged, charged and found not guilty, your case was dismissed, the charges were dropped, or you were granted probation before judgment, your record is typically eligible for expungement. However, if you are a defendant in a current criminal proceeding, then you are not permitted to file a motion for expungement.
Your record is not typically eligible for expungement if you were found guilty or pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor or felony. However, Maryland law lists specific crimes that could be expunged. If you have been found or plead guilty to a charge, reviewing your situation with our knowledgeable Maryland expungement attorney is crucial.
If your record is eligible to be expunged, you will most likely have to wait for some time before petitioning the court. The actual time period will be determined by the charge and disposition of your case.
Not every arrest ends in a conviction or even a charge. If you were arrested but not charged, your record should automatically expunge in sixty days. If you have any concerns with this, contact our Maryland expungement attorney.
If you were charged with a crime, the applicable waiting period is based on the disposition of your case.
In some cases, you are charged, but the prosecutor does not follow through with the matter. A stet is an indefinite stay of proceedings. The prosecuting attorney will request a postponement from the judge. If this occurs, you are permitted to file a motion for expungement three years from the date the stet is entered on the docket. If you file a General Waiver, freeing the police from any liability, you could file for expungement within the three-year waiting period.
In other situations, the prosecuting attorney might decide to drop the charges against you. Unfortunately, if this occurs, the arrest and charges are not automatically expunged. If you file a General Waiver, you are permitted to petition the court for an expungement immediately. Otherwise, you must comply with the three-year waiting period.
In Maryland, you could be sentenced without being convicted. Probation before judgment (PBJ) occurs when a judge finds you guilty, strikes that finding, and sentences you without entering a conviction on your record. A PBJ is eligible for expungement three years from the date of disposition or after you have completed your sentence, whichever one is longer. It is important to note that an underlying charge of driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence is not eligible for expungement.
If you were found or plead guilty, then the waiting period will be determined by the type of charge.
A nuisance crime is the least serious offense in Maryland. These include, but are not limited to, loitering, public urination, and the public consumption of alcohol. If you have been convicted of a nuisance crime, you will have to wait three years from when you completed any sentence to petition the court for an expungement.
An eligible misdemeanor is a more serious offense and has a longer waiting period depending on the charge. For most misdemeanor convictions, you must wait ten years from the completion of your sentence. However, if you were charged with a domestic violence crime or a second-degree assault, the waiting period is fifteen years.
The most serious crimes in Maryland are felonies. If you were convicted of an eligible felony, you would be required to wait fifteen years from the time you completed your sentence, including probation, before you are permitted to ask the court to expunge your record. If you are charged with another crime during the waiting period, you could be required to wait until you could expunge that charge – if you remain eligible for expungement at all. If you have been convicted of a felony, contact our Maryland expungement attorney to understand your legal options.
If you have a guilty plea or conviction on your record, there might be another option available. You have ninety days from the end of your case to file a motion for the reconsideration of your sentence. The motion will ask the judge to modify your sentence to a PBJ. A PBJ is typically shorter and easier to expunge. Our Maryland criminal defense attorney will review your case and argue your matter before the court. In some situations, a judge will reconsider the verdict if you have completed a portion of your sentence, such as paid any required restation or met your community service requirement.
If you have been dealing with a criminal record for years, you could be eligible to rid yourself of its adverse effects. Contact our Maryland expungement attorney today to see if you qualify to clear your record. It is never too late. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free and confidential appointment.