Prince George’s County Expungement Lawyer

In the interest of helping people move on from certain types of isolated unlawful actions, the state of Maryland allows residents to hide certain records related to past criminal charges and convictions from public view. This process, known as “expungement,” is not available to every person who has found themselves in front of a criminal court judge, but if you are eligible for it, it could be a great way to put your past behind you and not have it affect your future.

Without a skilled defense attorney’s help, it can be tough to determine whether you are even eligible to pursue expungement. Working closely with a Prince George’s County expungement lawyer could make a huge difference in how smoothly this process goes for you and how good your odds are of securing the final result you want.

When Is Expungement Possible in Prince George’s County?

Records related to criminal arrests and charges in Maryland are automatically expunged after a certain period. For example, anyone arrested but not charged with a crime after October 1, 2007, will have that arrest record automatically expunged 60 days after their release.

Furthermore, if someone is charged with a crime but ultimately is acquitted, has their charge dismissed, is found not guilty, or receives a nolle prosequi without any attached requirement to seek drug or alcohol treatment, then all records held by any state agency or court—including law enforcement—will be expunged automatically three years after the case’s conclusion. Notably, this only applies to dispositions after October 1, 2021.

It is generally not possible to seek expungement of records related to any case that ends with a conviction. However, there are some exceptions for certain minor offenses like public urination, drinking in public, possession of drug paraphernalia, and general theft that may become eligible for expungement three to ten years after the case’s conclusion and after all conditions of sentencing have been met. A Prince George’s County expungement attorney could review what options a person has during a confidential consultation.

Steps to Applying for Expungement

The expungement process begins with the petitioner filling out and submitting a Petition for Expungement of Records, as well as a General Waiver and Release. Different forms are required for people seeking expungement of records related to a guilty disposition, as opposed to those seeking expungement of records related to other dispositions like acquittal or dismissal. There may be a $30 non-refundable filing fee applicable as well.

Once the petition is filed and the State’s Attorney receives a copy, that Attorney has 30 days maximum to object to the petition. If they do not, the court can order the expungement of the requested records without further detail. If the State’s Attorney does choose to contest the petition, the court will schedule a hearing for the petitioner to argue their case as to why they should be eligible for expungement. A skilled expungement lawyer in Prince George’s County could provide vital assistance with this task.

Seek Help from a Prince George’s County Expungement Attorney

Even if you are not convicted, having criminal proceedings on your record could negatively impact your personal and professional prospects, to say nothing of the overinflated effect that a conviction for a minor criminal charge could have. In both situations, you may have the right to have relevant records hidden from public view, either automatically after a certain amount of time or by taking action yourself.

Guidance from a Prince George’s County expungement lawyer could be key to making the best use of this legal process. Call today to learn more.