Williams, McClernan, & Stack LLC held its annual Expungement Clinic in conjunction with the St. Mary’s County Library on Friday, October 22, 2021. First, we are thankful to the Library for the use of their zoom rooms and their staff in coordinating the schedule. Second, we thank our attorneys for giving freely of their time to this endeavor to provide pro bono services to the Community.

What is an expungement you ask?

Expungement is the process of clearing charges from a criminal record not just from the Court system, but the ancillary systems attached to the judiciary (i.e., Sheriff’s Office, Department of Juvenile Service, Parole and Probation, etc.).

Why is it important to expunge your record?

The Maryland Judiciary Case Search allows anyone to search public case records which includes whether a person is or has been involved in a criminal/traffic or civil matter. For criminal/traffic cases, it shows the person’s name and address at the time of the event and what charges were brought against them. Unfortunately, having your record on display can mean places and businesses take that into account (even if they are not supposed to by law) for hiring or renting purposes.

Maryland Judiciary Case Search - https://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/casesearch/

What can I expunge?

All criminal charges that have been dismissed, entered nolle prosequi by the State’s Attorney, or a not guilty can be immediately expunged (though you may have to sign a waiver). You will need to know your case number as Maryland is now shielding (meaning the public cannot see it on Case Search) these types of outcomes.

Stets (cases that are on the inactive docket) can be expunged three years after the agreement of the stet on the record.

Probation before Judgments (PBJs) (except for DUIs) maybe expunged three years after the completion of your sentence AND probation.

Lastly, Maryland has agreed that some crimes, especially misdemeanors, may be expunged after 10 years (and some felonies after 15 years). That list is too exhaustive to list in a blog so please go to: https://mdcourts.gov/sites/default/files/court-forms/courtforms/joint/ccdccr072g2.pdf/ccdccr072g2.pdf to see if your charge is eligible to be expunged.

For more information regarding expungement of criminal records you can access:

Maryland Judiciary Website on Expungements https://www.courts.state.md.us/legalhelp/expungement

People’s Law Library of Maryland https://peoples-law.org/expungement-and-changing-your-criminal-record

WMSLawyers look forward to hosting next year’s Expungement Clinic. Please keep an eye out on our webpage and follow us on social media to register when the event is announced. For help with expungements outside of clinic hours, you may schedule a consultation with our office by calling 240-309-4179.