1. Retaliatory False Police Reports of Criminal Activity. 2. Profiling and Other Illegal Arrests 3. Raids: Present at the Wrong Place and at the Wrong Time. These are just some of the reasons why a large population, of innocent people, end up with criminal/police records. Others have valid criminal/police records that exist, within the court records for many years, without further incident or criminal activity. Regardless of whether these record(s) exist with or without cause, both situations have the regular and on-going effect of impairing one’s ability to obtain loans, apartments and jobs. However, depending upon the circumstances, these records are easily expunged with a little effort and the payment of a nominal court cost.
Expungement means to destroy; blot out; obliterate; erase; efface designedly or strike out wholly. With respect to criminal/police records, it is the distinct act of physically destroying that information in files, computers or other depositories. Following successful expungement, it is as if the event never even occurred.
Generally, expungement is appropriate following a proceeding which ended in the acquittal of certain crimes; the entry of a nolle prosequi or the placement of the action on the “stet” docket. Additionally, expungement is appropriate wherein there has been no subsequent qualifying conviction(s); wherein the action was transferred to juvenile court under certain circumstances; wherein the action was compromised or dismissed under certain circumstances and when there has been a full and unconditional pardon by the Governor.
Some or all of these events also require the passage of a three year period, without, any subsequent qualifying incident, following the disposition or a discharge from probation, whichever is later and no qualifying subsequent conviction or current pending criminal action.
With respect to police records, expungement is proper wherein, among other things, there were no formal charges filed following the arrest. For more detailed information, regarding the expungement of criminal and/or police records, visit The Kelsey Law Firm’s webpage, click on the “Resources” page and thereafter click on Expungement Info and download a free 12 page self-help guide to expunging your criminal/police record, created and provided by the Maryland Judiciary. This guide will further explain the law surrounding expungements in more detail, including but not limited to exactly when and if you are entitled to an expungement; how to file for the expungement; what the costs are associated with filing for the request; how long the process takes and whether or not you have to disclose the prior criminal/police information following the process and success of the expungement. On that same site you will find links to the appropriate forms required to request expungement of criminal and police records in either the Circuit or District Court.
Keep in mind that expunging a criminal and/or police record can be a process. Thus, it’s best to get the record(s) expunged before you actually need to. So, get your criminal/police records expunged and get 2014 off to a good start! Generally, expungements can be done without the assistance of an attorney, however, should you require further assistance, please feel free to call The Kelsey Law Firm, at (301) 390-9060, for assistance should you feel you need it.
Thanks for reading. Please note that I am licensed to practice law in Maryland and the District of Columbia. This topic was based off of the laws of the State of Maryland and nothing herein is intended as specific legal advice. Please feel free to learn more about my practice at www.kelseylaw.net and to seek legal advice when you feel it necessary.
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Please share any stories you may have about how a criminal or police record has impaired one’s ability to move on, in any aspect of life, to encourage and promote swift action by those who need to take it. I welcome your comments and/or questions. In the meantime, Good luck in the New Year!