What’s an expungement in Maryland?

Expungements are better known as a way to remove court and police records from public inspection. Essentially, when you have a record expunged, employers, relatives and even random members of the public will no longer be able to pull up your records.

To be eligible for an expungement, you must fall under one of several categories. For instance, if you were found not guilty of a crime, then your record should be expunged. This won’t, however, eliminate media coverage, which can persist thanks to the Internet and archiving news sources. You may have to request those be removed separately.

You can also have your record expunged if you had your case dismissed. Additionally, if you had probation before judgment, then you may have your record expunged upon judgment assuming that you served your term. Interestingly, you may have your record expunged if you’re given a full and unconditional pardon by the governor as well. In that case, the Parole Commission’s Office needs to be contacted to do so. If you were a juvenile when the crime took place or settled your case, you may also request an expungement.

When you’re ready to do so, you need to fill out a petition for expungement of police and court records. These need to be filled out and given to the court clerk where you went to trial. You aren’t guaranteed to get an expungement, so it’s important to speak with someone familiar with the regulations and rules of expunging a record to make sure you provide the right information and forms when you apply.

Source: Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, “Expungements” accessed Feb. 09, 2015