Since most companies and universities in Maryland want to employ workers or accept students with no criminal history or record, many individuals with a record want to file for expungement, which is removing a history of arrest or criminal conviction records provided for public inspection. A criminal conviction or charges, such as murder or robbery, generally wreak havoc on a person’s ability to gain employment and also tarnishes reputation. No matter the degree of the offense, if a resident has served a prison sentence, it can turn against them at any crucial stage in life. Therefore, many states grant residents the right to expunge or seal convictions and arrests from public records.
In Maryland, records can be removed from police files, court files and motor vehicle administration files. The expungement process must be done through accepted legal channels and it only helps remove very specific files. Multiple arrests require an application for expungement for each arrest on the basis of disposition and the date of the arrest. Note that while some records can be removed from some reporting agencies, it is not possible to remove all records from all agencies.
The right time for filing for expungement depends on disposition or whether a general waver and release form has been filed. This form releases a person from any claims regarding arrests or convictions. A resident can file a petition for expungement after a certain amount of time has passed since the infraction or conviction. Also certain terms and criteria must be met, as outlined by law.
If a person dies before disposition of a charge, his or her attorney or a personal representative can file for expungement on his or her behalf. The process of filing a petition for expungement is not simple, so advice and help from an experienced attorney may help seal or expunge a criminal record faster and with no error.
Source: MDCourts.gov, “What is expungement?” Accessed on Feb. 26, 2015