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How to Get a Felony Off Your Record in Maryland

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A felony has a big impact on a person’s life and if you live in Maryland, you’ve come here trying to find out how to get the felony off your record.  Realize that with all felony records, there are three options you can take.  1) Expunge Your Record2) Seal Your Record,3) Request a Pardon of Your RecordThe problem though is that all states don’t offer all three of these options. But before we get into what Maryland offers, let’s review what each of these options actually mean.

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Expungement

If you get your record expunged in Maryland it’s as if your arrest and/or charges never happened. Your record is completely destroyed, including all physical and public records. When asked if have a criminal record, after expungement, you can truthfully answer “no”.

Record Sealing

Sealing your record in Maryland is similar to expungement, but your record still exists in a limited form. The public does not have access to your record, but there are some exceptions. Your records can still be accessed by law enforcement and the courts. Record sealing is not as secure as expungement, but it is a reasonable alternative that is comparatively easier to obtain if your state offers it.

Pardons

If you receive a pardon in Maryland, you still have record of your arrest or charge, but your guilt is exonerated. That is, you have proven that you are rehabilitated and forgiven for your crimes. You can also get relief in terms of having various rights restored, such as your right to vote. The requirements for pardons vary between states, but typically there is a lot of documentation required, and includes lengthy waiting periods to apply and receive a pardon.

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Things to Know Before You Start

First: It’s important to understand that every state is different in terms of what methods are available for felons to remove their record and the information below will help you understand what you can do in Maryland.

Felony Expungement in Maryland

Yes, it is possible to expunge your felony in Maryland but it depends on the felony.

Sealing a Recordin Maryland

Yes, it is possible to seal your record in Maryland but it depends on the felony.

Getting a Pardonin Maryland

Yes, it is possible to get a pardon of your record in Maryland but it depends on the felony.

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Second: When trying to clear your record, you really have two options.  The first is to get a free consultation from a lawyer to see what they think of your case, and the second is to try to do all of the paperwork yourself.  

Third: We HIGHLY recommend that you get a free consultation from a lawyer prior to taking any action.  We say this because whether you want to expunge, seal, or pardon your record, it’s an extremely complicated process.  Failure to follow the process properly can end up with you being denied for the request and having to wait additional time (sometimes several years) before you can file again.  In addition, getting an expungement lawyer can increase your odds of succeeding and sometimes it’s more affordable than you think.  The first step is to click on the button below to confirm that you’re eligible for the expungement/sealing of your record.

TAKE THE ELIGIBILITY TESTQuick NavigationCan You Expunge a Felony in Maryland?How to Expunge a Felony in MarylandCan You Seal Your Criminal Record in Maryland?How to Seal Your Criminal Record in MarylandCan You Apply for a Pardon in Maryland?How to Apply for a Pardon in Maryland

Can You Expunge a Felony in Maryland?

An expungement cannot be seen by the public, but the record can be accessed by government agencies, police, and military that require a security clearance for employment. Expungements are not automatic and never guaranteed. There are applications or petitions to fil out and paperwork to be submitted to the proper criminal court. Most courts require a judge’s review and decision. You must also pay a fee for filing. The expungement process is somewhat complicated. You may have to serve papers on the district attorney and your application must be a “legal document”, plus the paperwork must be signed by a judge. There may or may not be a court hearing. After your records have been expunged you might need to serve the expungement order on different agencies to completely clear your record. It does take time, but expungement will give you back your life.Expunging your records means the removal of police and court records from any public view. This does not include Motor Vehicle Administrations records. In Maryland, expunging your criminal records takes about 90 days unless there is an appeal or objection. Expungement cases cost $30.

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CANNOT EXPUNGE IF…

<ol><li>Most convictions that ended in a guilty finding.</li><li>Pending criminal cases</li><li>If there are multiple charges included in cases from the same incident, and some of these charges carry guilty pleas, none of the charges can be expunged.</li></ol><p>You can <a href=”http://www.mdlab.org/wp-content/uploads/MLA_Expungement.pdf”>find more on this website</a>.</p>

How to Expunge a Felony in Maryland

<ol><li>Before you begin this process, we insist that you <a draggable=”false” href=”https://www.felonyrecordhub.com/test/expungement”>take this eligibility test</a> to determine if you’re eligible to expunge your record.</li><li>If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because expungements are mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you.</li><li>If you are <u>not</u> eligible for expungement based on our test, then you should stop here.</li><li>If you are eligible based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading.</li><li>Do an online case search of you Maryland criminal background. You can do this <a href=”http://casesearch.courts.statemd.us/casesearch/”>by visiting this website</a>.</li><li>The fee is $30 for each expungement petition.</li><li>Enter each case number and the website will let you now if you can expunge that record.</li></ol><p> </p>

Can You Seal Your Criminal Record in Maryland?

Sealing your records in Maryland requires a ruling by a judge.  When your records are sealed, the court actually places them in an envelope and seals them with a special court seal. It can only be opened by court order. The court does not like to seal criminal records, so it is best to consult an attorney for help. There are hundreds of enumerated misdemeanors that are eligible for sealing. This includes some second-degree assault, prostitution, theft, and drug possession crimes. There is a waiting period of 10 years from the completion of your sentence including parole, supervision, or probation.

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CANNOT SEAL IF…

<ol><li>If you are convicted a new crime during the 10-year waiting period.</li><li>If you have pending criminal charges.</li><li>If one offense in your case is not eligible, then none of the incidents are eligible.</li><li>Domestically related crimes may be sealed, but the waiting period is 15 years. MD Crime Law Code § 6-233.</li></ol>

How to Seal Your Criminal Record in Maryland

<p>When your record is sealed, it cannot be accessed by trying to find criminal records. If you are being considered for employment or trying to get a loan these records cannot be looked at during a background check. You are legally able to deny the criminal records. The records still exist, but only a court order to unseal the records can make those accounts accessible.</p><p>The procedure to get a criminal record sealed by a court in Montana is a complicated process involving several steps:</p><ol><li>Before you begin this process, we insist that you <a draggable=”false” href=”https://www.felonyrecordhub.com/test/expungement”>take this eligibility test</a> to determine if you’re eligible to seal your record.</li><li>If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because expungements are mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you.</li><li>If you are <u>not</u> eligible to seal your record based on our test, then you should stop here.</li><li>If you are eligible to seal your record based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading.</li><li>File a petition in court where the original proceeding began. There are exceptions if you case was transferred or appealed.</li><li>Serve notice to the State’s Attorney and all victims of our crime.</li><li>The victims have 30 days to object to the petition</li><li>If no objection is filed after 30 days, expungement or sealing happens.</li><li>Your expungement and sealing processes are identical in Maryland.</li></ol>

Can You Apply for a Pardon in Maryland?

Applying for a pardon in Maryland means you must apply to the Governor through the Maryland Parole Commission. First you need to specify the grounds you want to be considered for a pardon and give a detailed reason why you need relief from the restrictions. Your pardon does not seal or expunge your record and your criminal record will be available for public view.  You can have a letter of pardon in your file which may help with employment issues.  You could find that a pardon may not give you total relief from all regulatory restrictions.

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CANNOT PARDON IF…

<ol><li>You were convicted of a felony in another state,</li><li>The time limit has not expired ten years),</li><li>You have additional criminal charges,</li><li>You still have fines and restitution to pay.</li></ol>

How to Apply for a Pardon in Maryland

The governor may grant pardons, commutations, and suspend all fines and forfeitures. You can apply for a pardon any time after you have been convicted. The law states that you can apply for a pardon after any felony or misdemeanor conviction. Do keep I mind that most pardon applications are denied in Montana.

<ol><li>Before you begin this process, we insist that you <a href=”https://www.felonyrecordhub.com/test/expungement”>take this eligibility test</a> to determine if you’re eligible to request a pardon for your record.  In most cases, if you are eligible for expungement on our test, then you’ll be eligible for a pardon.</li><li>If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because requesting a pardon is mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you. </li><li>If you are <u>not</u> eligible based on our test, then you should stop here. </li><li>If you are eligible based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading.</li><li>An application for Pardon must be filled out, signed and mailed to the Maryland Parole Commission, 6776 Reisterstown Road Suite 307 Baltimore, Maryland 21215.</li><li>Docket entries for the crimes you want pardoned must be included. (Obtain this information form the Clerk of the Court where you were sentenced.  Copies of the docket must be stamped y the court saying, “True Copy, Test and have the signature of the Clerk of the Court and the Court’s Seal.</li><li>All other documents outlined on the Pardon Application Checklist must also be included.</li></ol><p>You can find more information <a href=”https://www.dpscs.state.md.us/publicservs/pardons.shtml”>on this website</a>.</p>

So, there you have it.  Three separate ways to get rid of your record in Maryland.  As we’ve said numerous times throughout this page, this is a really complicated process and we highly recommend that you take this eligibility test prior to taking any action to determine if you are eligible for any of these options.

Please note, the information contained here is not legal advice and is strictly informational.  If you have any further questions about the information above, or in general, you need to contact a lawyer directly.

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