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Expungement can prevent public access to a criminal record

Expungement is the process of removing a criminal record from being looked at by the general public and can be requested by a convicted individual after someone has fulfilled their legal obligations to the state. In Maryland, criminal records can be located with either the police, the Motor Vehicle Administration or with court and police files. While the expungement process removes specific files, no single attempt removes these files from all agencies. So here is some general information about the process of expungement.

Any criminal record that is kept by the Maryland MVA is automatically removed after three years. Other charges must be manually removed, but this will depend on the kind of charges a person was convicted of and how long it has been since the person was convicted. Maryland residents can contact their local MVA to find out additional information.

Regarding police records, if a person was held by police on or after October 1, 2007, but released without being charged with a crime, then these records will be expunged automatically after 60 days. However, if someone was held by police before October 1, 2007 and released without charges being filed, these records may still exist. In order to get these files expunged, a person must contact the authority who arrested them and ask for an Investigative Release Form. The individual should then ask the agency how to proceed with the expungement process and the request must also be filed within eight years of the event.

Court records in Maryland are not automatically expunged and the time that a person can file a petition for an expungement can differ. However, any Maryland resident who would like to investigate the process of expungement further may want to speak with a criminal defense attorney in order find out additional information about this important legal procedure.

Source:, "Expungement", Accessed October 3, 2016

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