DUI Arrest Records in Baltimore
Arrest records are generally available to the public in Baltimore because Maryland has something called Maryland Judiciary Case Search. If you have been arrested for a DUI in Baltimore, it is highly advised to seek the guidance of a qualified Baltimore DUI attorney to better understand your case.
Any case that is pending in Maryland has a record that is publicly searchable in their online database. Anyone can access the database. They go to the website, type in the individual’s name, and the database will show all the pending cases for that individual. In that sense, arrest records are extremely publicly available for individuals in Baltimore.
Consequences of Having Public Arrest Records
Some employers who do background checks may not want to hire somebody who has a pending case or who has been arrested for a certain type of case, particularly driving jobs. If someone was arrested for a DUI and a potential employer sees that, they may very well skip over that application in favor someone who is perhaps less qualified, but doesn’t have that arrest record. Because this can negatively impact your career, it is imperative to find a dedicated Baltimore DUI lawyer to help minimize damages.
There are many consequences associated with having a public arrest record that could include economic or academic issues. People have different collateral consequences depending on their life and the particular issues they face.
Mug shots are not available in the case search records. The arrest record is text only, so it just has a person’s name and their address, therefore it will not have their picture.
These records are stored in a centralized system known as the Maryland Case Search System. It is a public-access system on the Internet where people can look up information about an individual. Additionally, all case files for criminal cases are available to the public. A person can go to the Clerk’s Office at the courthouse, request a copy of the file, and view it at the clerk’s desk.
Options for Dealing with Public Arrest Records
Arrest records are usually made available to the public in Maryland as long as a juvenile is not involved. When someone is charged with a criminal offense and arrested, within a couple of days, the Maryland Case Search System reflects that arrest.
The available options depend on the final disposition of the case. If the case occurs when the individual is a juvenile, once they reach the age of majority, they can have their arrest records sealed.
The other possibility is when the case is dismissed because the individual is found not guilty after a trial resulting in an acquittal, or an individual’s charges are dropped by the prosecuting attorney’s office. In either of those cases, an individual may be eligible to have the records expunged. It is removed from all publicly searchable databases and it is as if the arrest had never taken place.
Record Sealing Versus Record Expungement
There is a difference between record sealing and expungement. When the record is sealed, the record still exists, although it is not publicly available. With an expungement, the actual record is deleted and removed. A Baltimore DUI lawyer can help you to better understand the difference and how to handle your case.
Acquittal of a Baltimore DUI and Expungement of the Arrest
When a person is acquitted of the DUI, they must specifically petition to have the arrest expunged from their records. The expungement of the arrest does not occur automatically upon dismissal of the case. It is a separate petition to the court. The defense lawyer should take care of that for the person as part of having the acquittal hearing. As soon as someone is acquitted or the case is dismissed, they should immediately go to the court’s office to file an expungement petition.