Montgomery County Expungement Lawyer
Merely enduring an arrest upon suspicion of a criminal act can have a profound impact on your life. Police departments will keep a record of this arrest and may use it to target you for future investigations. If the arrest results in the formal filing of charges, this information can also appear on future court documents, and criminal convictions will result in the creation of a criminal record.
Fortunately, the law allows for people who have received convictions for certain misdemeanor offenses to petition the court for a removal of these offenses from their record. We call this removal an expungement.
A Montgomery County expungement lawyer may be able to help you to determine if you qualify for a fresh start. A knowledgeable defense attorney could assist with petitioning police departments to expunge their internal records as well as seek a formal removal of convictions from your criminal record.
Can a Person Expunge Arrest Records?
As a rule, police officers should not arrest people without probable cause to suspect that a crime has occurred. However, in some situations, these charges may result in an acquittal. Even so, their criminal records and police information will still contain information about this arrest.
Fortunately, it is possible to request an expungement of the police and court records. According to Maryland Code, Criminal Procedure § 10-105, an expungement is possible whenever a charge carried the possibility of imprisonment, but the court dismissed the charges, or the case resulted in a not-guilty verdict.
In these situations, a person may submit a petition to the court as long as three years have passed since the case came to an end. In other situations, such as cases requiring the completion of drug or alcohol counseling, this time restriction may be shorter. A Montgomery County expungement attorney could help to determine if the time is right to request the destruction of police or court records and take the lead in submitting the necessary paperwork to the court.
Sealing Misdemeanor Convictions in MoCo
With rare exceptions, people who receive felony convictions will likely need to live with the consequences of that outcome for the rest of their lives. However, a conviction for certain misdemeanors may make a person eligible for eventual expungement.
There is a waiting period of ten years following the end of a person’s experience with the justice system for them to be eligible for expungement. This means that a person must wait ten years following their jail sentence, time on probation, or payment of a fine to file a petition with the court. In addition, the petitioner must not have had any additional criminal cases during this ten-year period.
Beyond this, only certain misdemeanor convictions are eligible for expungement, under MD Code, Crim. Pro. § 10-110. A Montgomery County lawyer could help to determine if a person is eligible for expungement under specific circumstances.
Reach Out to a Montgomery County Expungement Attorney Today
The criminal justice system serves two purposes. It exists to punish people who violate the law but also to help people get their lives back on track. If you received a conviction for a misdemeanor over ten years ago, it may be possible to clear your criminal record. In other situations, it might be possible to request that police departments and courts destroy information related to a case that did not result in a conviction.
A Montgomery County expungement lawyer is ready to speak with you. They could help to determine your eligibility for these programs and to submit the necessary petitions to the relevant courts.