Shielding Criminal Records

When applying for a job, loan, school, or an educational program, you will probably have to undergo a background check. If the results of the background check portray you in a negative light, you could easily lose out on many opportunities.

If you have been arrested, convicted, or charged with a misdemeanor crime in Maryland, having your criminal record shielded or expunged can allow you to live a normal life after the incident. An expungement completely removes the criminal record from court files, while shielding a record makes the record no longer visible on case searches or to the public, but it may still be visible to other entities.

Case search is a resource that allows the public to search information about cases, defendants, plaintiffs, and attorneys.


James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates | Shielding Criminal Records

Getting your criminal record expunged or shielded in Maryland can be a long and complex process. An experienced criminal defense attorney, however, can provide you with all the information you need to determine if you are eligible for an expungement or a shielding of your criminal record.

Contact James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates to discuss your legal options for protecting your future today. We have two offices conveniently located in Arbutus and Catonsville, Maryland to serve Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Howard, and Harford counties.

Call James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates at 443-709-9999 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our criminal defense lawyers.  We have successfully represented clients in the State of Maryland for many years and we want to work with you towards a positive resolution of your case.


What is “Shielding”?

Under the Maryland Second Chance Act, “shield” means to render a court and police record for one of twelve specified crime convictions inaccessible by members of the public.

Unlike an expungement, Shielding does not eliminate a criminal record completely, but it does remove it from public view. Law enforcement officers and certain agencies may still be able to view this information.

In order to be granted a shield, you petition the appropriate court. After the petition, you file the required documents and include all eligible convictions on paperwork. Maryland law only allows one shielding per person during their lifetime.

In order to request a shielding, a defendant must also wait three years after completing any sentence, these include parole, probation, or mandatory supervision sentences.

The court will not grant a request to shield a criminal record if any of the following apply:

  • the conviction was domestically related;
  • there are pending criminal charges against the requesting defendant;
  • there are two or more charges arising from the same incident (known as the unit rule);
  • the defendant has been convicted of a new crime during the three-year waiting period.

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Shieldable Convictions in Maryland

In Maryland, there are certain crimes that are allowed to be shielded from someone’s criminal history.  The term “shieldable conviction” refers to a conviction of one of the following non-violent misdemeanor crimes:

  • disorderly conduct under § 10–201(c)(2) of the Criminal Law Article;
  • disturbing the peace under § 10–201(c)(4) of the Criminal Law Article;
  • failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order under § 10–201(c)(3) of the Criminal Law Article;
  • malicious destruction of property in the lesser degree under § 6–301 of the Criminal Law Article;
  • trespass on posted property under § 6–402 of the Criminal Law Article;
  • possessing or administering a controlled dangerous substance under § 5–601 of the Criminal Law Article;
  • possessing or administering a non-controlled substance under § 5–618(a) of the Criminal Law Article;
  • use of or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia under § 5–619(c)(2) of the Criminal Law Article;
  • driving without a license under § 16–101 of the Transportation Article;
  • driving while privilege is canceled, suspended, refused, or revoked under § 16–303 of the Transportation;
  • driving while uninsured under § 17–107 of the Transportation Article; or
  • a prostitution offense under § 11–306(a)(1) of the Criminal Law Article if the conviction is for prostitution.

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Shielding Additional Resources

Shielding: Maryland Courts– Visit the website of Maryland courts to see government information on shielding criminal records. On this page, you can also find information for petitioning a court to shield a criminal record.

Maryland Statute §10–301– View the General Assembly of Maryland’s website to see section §10–301 that discusses criminal offenses that may be eligible for shielding in the state.


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Maryland Criminal Record Shielding Attorneys

If you believe that you may be eligible to have your record shielded, pardoned, or expunged contact James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates as soon as possible.  The attorneys of James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates have decades of experience assisting clients in getting their records shielded or expunged throughout Baltimore, Arbutus, Catonsville, Annapolis MD.

Contact James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates at 443-709-9999 to discuss any criminal matters with an experienced criminal defense team today.