Misdemeanors and nonviolent crimes can be expunged in Maryland

Misdemeanors and nonviolent crimes can be expunged in Maryland

In Maryland, those who are charged for minor crimes may still suffer the scrutiny of the public. For instance, if you are a teen or young adult and are caught driving while drunk, you could lose your job and have a negative record for much of your future. In some cases, there were few ways to eliminate the records from public searches, making it possible for anyone to see your background and criminal history.

Today, legislators in Maryland are aiming to reduce the severity of the punishments on those with minor criminal records, so they can more easily find houses, jobs, and get an education. There are currently several bills being written or submitted that could help build up Maryland’s laws on expungement, which would allow some minor crimes to be blocked from disclosure. This means that employers, rental companies and others would no longer be able to find out about that one past crime that could hinder a person’s future.

In 2015, there were bills such as the Second Chance Act approved in the state. This act allows those with nonviolent misdemeanors to request the records be eliminated from public access. Others may also have offenses that are no longer crimes, like the possession of marijuana in limited amounts, removed from their records.

In any situation where you face a misdemeanor, it’s important to protect your rights and to take all the steps possible to prevent your conviction. Your attorney can help you do so, but if the case still results in your being convicted of a crime, now you have a chance to have it removed at a later date.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Maryland legislators to consider ways to clean slate for offenders,” Michael Dresser, Jan. 03, 2016

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