Maryland Pardons

The Maryland Parole Commission is responsible for reviewing and making recommendations on pardon applications if requested by the governor. The governor has the authority to issue partial and conditional pardons and is the sole judge in determining whether a condition of a pardon has been violated.

A pardon may be available when an individual has been charged with a crime but has not yet been convicted. A decision to grant a pardon arises when an individual is charged and a “nolle prosequi” is entered. A “nolle prosequi” is a formal notice of abandonment by a prosecutor meaning that the charge will no longer be prosecuted.


Maryland  Pardon Attorney | James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates

If you believe you may be eligible for a pardon in Baltimore, Arbutus, Catonsville, or Annapolis, Maryland,  contact the lawyers of James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates as soon as possible. Our criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to getting you a positive resolution of your case and have been representing clients throughout Maryland for decades.

Contact James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates to speak with a criminal defense attorney who may be able to protect your criminal record through a pardon, expungement, or shielding. Call 443-709-9999 today for a free initial consultation.


Maryland Pardons Information Center


Reasons to Pardon or Dismiss a Charge

In some situations, prosecutors may want to dismiss charges against someone who has been charged with a crime. Some common reasons including the following:

  • the reevaluation of evidence;
  • the emergence of new evidence;
  • the failure of witnesses to cooperate; or
  • the desire to give the defendant a second chance.

Example: Dakota is arrested for assault with a firearm. Officers take statements from three witnesses who say that they saw him fire the gun at the corner store. After reviewing police reports and other evidence surrounding the case, the prosecutor decides to press charges. A month later, officers find a weapon underneath a garbage dumpster that matches the description of the one used in the crime. After forensic testing is done it reveals that the fingerprints on the weapon did not match Dakota’s. Dakota might then seek to have a pardon of this incident from their criminal record.


Back to top

Who May Request a Pardon

Criminal charges are taken very serious in the state of Maryland. If granted a pardon it will be as if charges were never filed, to begin with. In order to be eligible for a pardon:

  • petitioners must not be incarcerated;
  • petitioners who have previously been charged with misdemeanors who have been crime-free since the date of sentence, released from incarceration, or released from parole or probation whichever occurred last years, for a period of five years;
  • except as provided in the next paragraph, felons who have been crime-free from the date of sentence, released from incarceration, or released from parole or probation, whichever occurred last for ten years (*The Parole Commission may, at its discretion and in specific instances, consider cases in which only seven years have elapsed);
  • felons convicted of crimes of violence as defined in Criminal Law Article, §.  14-101 and felons convicted of controlled dangerous substance violations must have been crime-free from the date of sentence, released from incarceration, or released from parole or probation, whichever last occurred, for twenty years. (* The Parole Commission may, at its discretion and in specific instances, consider cases in which only fifteen years have elapsed.)

Back to top

Effects of a Dismissal

The result of being granted a pardon is the same as if charges had never been filed, but a pardon should not be confused with an acquittal. An acquittal prevents further proceedings against a defendant for the same incident (double jeopardy).

When a nolle prosequi is granted, the government still has the decision to re-prosecute a case in the future. If the prosecution decides to bring forth charges again they must file a new charging document for the offense (People v. Daniels, 187 Ill. 2d 301 (1999), Kenyon v. Com., 37 Va. App. 668 (2002).

If the dismissal is done “with prejudice,” however, then the prosecution may not re-file charges for the same incident.


Back to top

Find A Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer

The lawyers of James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates are dedicated to giving their clients the best legal representation that they can. They have successfully represented many people facing criminal charges in Catonsville, Annapolis, Arbutus, and Baltimore, Maryland. For your convenience, they have two offices located in Arbutus and Catonsville to serve the Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Howard, and Harford County areas.

If you wish to have a pardon, an expunction, or if you want to shield your criminal record, call James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates at 443-709-9999 today.