Expunging or Sealing Adult Criminal Records in Maryland

In Maryland, your criminal record may be expunged—that is, erased or sealed—under the circumstances described below. If your case qualifies for expungement, it will be removed from public inspection. In most cases, you will not have to disclose that you were arrested or convicted of a crime

Expungement in Maryland if You Were Not Convicted of a Crime

You were arrested but not charged with a crime. If you were arrested but not charged, your case qualifies for expungement—but whether it will be automatically erased depends on the date of your arrest.

  • If you were arrested on or after October 1, 2007, your arrest will be automatically expunged within 60 days of your release from custody.
  • If you were arrested before that date, you must petition the arresting agency to expunge your record. You must request expungement within eight years of the date of the incident for which you were arrested.

(Maryland Code, Criminal Procedure §§ 10-103, 103.1 (2018).)

You were arrested and charged with a crime, but not convicted. You may request that your record be expunged if:

  • the charge against you was dismissed
  • the charges against you were dropped (nolle prosequi)
  • the court indefinitely postponed your case
  • your case was settled
  • you were placed on probation without judgment (except for DUI charges), or
  • you were found not guilty.

In most cases, you must wait three years before you file for expungement, unless you can show good cause why a court should expunge your case sooner, or if you sign a general waiver waiving your right to sue the police.

Your case will not qualify for expungement if you have subsequent criminal convictions or if there are criminal proceedings pending against you. In addition, certain charges—including charges resulting from DUI probation—may not be expunged. (Maryland Code, Criminal Procedure § 10-105 (2018).)

Expungement in Maryland if You Were Convicted of a Crime

Felonies. Effective October 1, 2018, some convictions for the following felonies are eligible for expungement:

You must wait 15 years after completing your sentence before filing for expungement. (Maryland Code, Criminal Procedure § 10-110 (2018).)

Misdemeanors. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, your criminal record might be eligible for expungement. Maryland’s law lists more than 100 misdemeanor offenses that qualify for expungement, including drug possession, prostitution, theft, and assault in the second degree. (See Maryland Code, Criminal Procedure § 10-110 for the full list of eligible offenses.) You must wait ten years after completing your sentence before filing for expungement, unless you were convicted of second degree assault or a domestic violence crime. In those cases, you must wait 15 years after completing your sentence to apply. If you are convicted of another crime during the waiting period, the original conviction is not eligible for expungement until the new conviction becomes eligible for expungement. (Maryland Code, Criminal Procedure § 10-110 (2018).)

Minor nuisance crimes. Convictions for minor nuisance crimes, such as public urination, panhandling, consuming alcohol in public, and loitering, are eligible for expungement after a three-year waiting period. (Maryland Code, Criminal Procedure § 10-105 (2018).)

Offenses that are no longer considered criminal. If you were convicted for an act that is no longer a crime, your record might be eligible for expungement. (Maryland Code, Criminal Procedure § 10-105 (2018).)

Offenses for which you were pardoned. Your criminal record may qualify for expungement if you were convicted of only one nonviolent crime and the governor granted you a full pardon. (Maryland Code, Criminal Procedure § 10-105 (2018).)

How to File for Expungement in Maryland

The Maryland Judiciary offers a comprehensive brochure called Information About Removing Criminal Records from Public Access in Maryland. It helps you determine whether or not your case is eligible for expungement and explains how to file your petition with the proper agency.

Getting Legal Help

Cleaning up a criminal case record can be complicated, and the law can change at any time. To learn more about expunging criminal records in Maryland—and to discuss your personal circumstances—you should contact a qualified criminal law attorney. You can also go to www.ExpungeMaryland.org to learn if your case is expungeable and get information on how to contact an attorney.

Talk to a Lawyer

Need a lawyer? Start here.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP ?

Talk to an Expungement attorney.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you