While misdemeanor convictions are indeed less serious than felony convictions, they can be a permanent blight on your record. If you’re eligible, it may help to seek an expungement of your conviction. An expungement is the removal of a conviction, court records, and police records from public view. If your conviction is expunged, you will not, under most circumstances, have to disclose that you were arrested or convicted.
Usually, only charges that did not result in a conviction could be expunged, and until recently, there were very few types of convictions that could be expunged in Maryland. Expugnable offenses usually included such things as loitering and urinating in public. However, a new statute that went into effect October 1, 2017, now allows expungement for convictions for more than 100 types of misdemeanors. Maryland now allows for the expungement of convictions in crimes such as:
- Public Intoxication (Alcoholic Beverage Article section 6-320)
- Second Degree Assault (Criminal Law Article section 3-303)
- Possession/Purchase of a Non-controlled Substance (Criminal Law Article section5-618)
- Drug Paraphernalia (Criminal Law Article section 5-620)
- Malicious Burning of Property in the Second Degree (Criminal Law Article section 6-105)
- Trespassing (Criminal Law Article section 6-402)
- Theft (Criminal Law Article section 7-104)
For a complete list of expugnable offenses, see Criminal Procedure Article section 10-110.
There are waiting periods, some of them 10 to 15 years, before being eligible for expungement. In addition, you must not be charged with a crime at the time you request the expungement. There is also a fee required when filing for an expungement of a conviction. A filing fee is not required to expunge offenses that did not result in a guilty plea or guilty verdict.
This new right to expunge misdemeanor convictions is excellent news for those who have made some mistakes but are trying to clean up their records and move on. Criminal convictions can often stand in the way of employment and education. This change in the law provides a useful opportunity for people to get their lives back on track and make a fresh start.
If you’ve been arrested, you want to make sure you have the best possible outcome in your case. That’s why it is essential to hire the best lawyer for the job. Contact the experienced attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC online or call us at 301-321-7277 to schedule your free consultation.