Expungement is the legal procedure of clearing up your criminal record from the public eye. The process involves the reopening of a criminal case, dismissal of conviction, and again closing the case after conviction. The net effect is that the person is not considered a criminal anymore. Record expungement in Maryland also implies that the records are no longer available on the public domain. Expungement Maryland is permissible only in those cases where the petitioner or plaintiff was sentenced to a small county jail because the offence wasn’t severe enough. It is also applicable where all the fines have been paid and the probation period is over. In some cases it may be a combination of all three.
Why should one apply for expungement?
A criminal record, even a first-offence-single-incident one, will leave a mark on the person and deny the individual certain societal privileges. It is even more imperative to apply for record expungement when there has been no subsequent criminal incident or record. Without expungement the person loses a number of opportunities, like:
» Future employment opportunities
» Opportunities to advance in ones profession
» Opportunity to start ones business
» Requests for licenses
» Enlistment in the armed forces
» Personal and student loans
» Attending courses in schools and colleges
» Purchase or rentals of accommodation
» Access to high-security premises
» The right to adopt and social work
» Running for public office.
Maryland expungement law does not entertain petitions in severe crimes that come under federal jurisdiction. Also, there is no provision for expungement in crimes against minors, especially if they involve sexual assault or pornography. Considering the opportunities that are denied for a person with a criminal past, expungement Maryland is the best choice for clearing your criminal record.
Expungement process in Maryland
Although in Maryland one can petition for expungement of records in the case of court files, police records and vehicle administration records, for each type of record(s), the relevant authorities must be contacted. To petition for expungement, a person must first file a petition in the prescribed format and attach all the required documents mentioned in the petition form. The requisite fines and petition fees must also be paid in full.
Availing the services of qualified and experienced expungement lawyers in Maryland is a good idea, so that your petition meets the legal requirements and there are no undue delays in expungement. Maryland law also states that if the records are not expunged, then they must be disclosed to educational institutions or employers when requested. For individuals who wish to study or seek employment expungement Maryland is the first step towards realizing their dreams. Education and means of earning money are two fundamental rights of an individual. Even these are denied when there is a criminal record that has not been expunged.
DUI expungement law in Maryland
In Maryland, as in other states, there are strict rules for cases pertaining to Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Even if your ability to drive carefully is not hampered, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% can get you a DUI charge. Maryland law also states that you have to submit to a breath analyzer test to determine alcohol level. The consequences of refusal can be quite severe, i.e.
- 1st DUI offense – 120 days suspension of driving license
- 2nd DUI offense – 1 year suspension of driving license
- 3rd DUI offense – 1 year suspension of driving license.
A person cannot avail of the DUI expungement Maryland law if the incident resulted in the death or permanent disability of another person during the incident. When either a passenger or a third party dies or is severely injured, the case takes on a new dimension from a normal DUI case. If the DUI case did not involve such a severe crime, then expungement may be allowed but not before the mandatory probation period that extends beyond three years.
When all the dues are paid and all other legal requirements are fulfilled, an individual can file a petition for the expungement of the criminal record. Expungement Maryland is a due process by which law enforcement agencies and other concerned agencies have to make the records inaccessible to the public, including educational institutions and prospective employers.