Maryland Expungement Law


§ 10-102 CRIM. PROC. Authority to expunge police or court records existing prior to July 1, 1975; beginning of limitations periods; exceptions.  

(a) In general. — A police record or a court record is subject to expungement under this subtitle. 

 (b) Record before July 1, 1975.

 (1) A court record or a police record that existed before July 1, 1975, and is still maintained, may be expunged under this subtitle. 

 (2) A person who is entitled to the expungement of a court record or a police record that existed before July 1, 1975, may use the procedures for expungement provided under this subtitle. 

 (3) The limitation periods provided in § 10-105 of this subtitle begin when the person becomes entitled to expungement of a court record or a police record that existed before July 1, 1975. 

 (4) The custodian of court records or police records that were made before July 1, 1975, and that may be expunged under this subtitle: 

(i) shall make a reasonable search for a record requested for expungement; but   (ii) need not expunge a court record or a police record that is not found after a reasonable search.  

(c) Exclusions. — This subtitle does not apply to: 

 (1) a record about a minor traffic violation; 

 (2) the published opinion of a court; 

 (3) a cash receipt or disbursement record that is necessary for audit purposes; 

 (4) a transcript of court proceedings made by a court reporter in a multiple defendant case; 

 (5) an investigatory file; or 

 (6) a record of the work product of a law enforcement unit that is used solely for police investigation. 

 

§ 10-103 CRIM. PROC. Right to request expungement of police record when no charge is filed; conditions and limitations; duties of law enforcement agency, other agencies.   (a) Notice and request for expungement. — For arrests, detentions, or confinements occurring before October 1, 2007, a person who is arrested, detained, or confined by a law enforcement unit for the suspected commission of a crime and then is released without being charged with the commission of a crime may request the expungement of the police record. 

 (b) Period for request. — The person shall request expungement within 8 years after the date of the incident. 

 (c) Investigation.

  (1) On receipt of a timely filed request, the law enforcement unit promptly shall investigate and try to verify the facts stated in the request. 

(2) If the law enforcement unit finds the facts are true, the law enforcement unit shall:  

 

(i) search diligently for each police record about the arrest, detention, or confinement of the person; 

(ii) expunge each police record it has about the arrest, detention, or confinement within 60 days after receipt of the request; and 

(iii) send a copy of the request and the law enforcement unit’s verification of the facts in the request to:  

1. the Central Repository; 

2. each booking facility or law enforcement unit that the law enforcement unit believes may have a police record about the arrest, detention, or confinement; and 

3. the person requesting expungement.  

(d) Duties of other units. — Within 60 days after receipt of the request, the Central Repository, booking facility, and any other law enforcement unit shall search diligently for and expunge a police record about the arrest, detention, or confinement. 

(e) Denial of request. — If the law enforcement unit to which the person has sent a request finds that the person is not entitled to an expungement of the police record, the law enforcement unit, within 60 days after receipt of the request, shall advise the person in writing of:  

(1) the denial of the request for expungement; and  

(2) the reasons for the denial. 

(f)

(1)

(i) Court order. — If a request by the person for expungement of a police record is denied under subsection (e) of this section, the person may apply for an order of expungement in the District Court that has proper venue against the law enforcement unit. 

 (ii) The person shall file the application within 30 days after the written notice of the denial is mailed or delivered to the person. 

 (2) After notice to the law enforcement unit, the court shall hold a hearing. 

 (3) If the court finds that the person is entitled to expungement, the court shall order the law enforcement unit to expunge the police record. 

 (4) If the court finds that the person is not entitled to expungement of the police record, the court shall deny the application.  

(5)

(i) The law enforcement unit is a party to the proceeding. 

(ii) Each party to the proceeding is entitled to appellate review on the record, as provided in the Courts Article for appeals in civil cases from the District Court. 

(g) Waiver of fee or cost. — A person who is entitled to expungement under this section may not be required to pay any fee or costs in connection with the expungement. 

 

§ 10-103.1 CRIM. PROC. Expungement of all police records after released without being charged with commission of crime. 

 (a) In general. — For arrests or confinements occurring on or after October 1, 2007, a person who is arrested or confined by a law enforcement unit and then is released without being charged with the commission of a crime is entitled to expungement of all police records, including photographs and fingerprints, relating to the matter. 

 (b) Duties of law enforcement unit after release. — Within 60 days after release of a person entitled to expungement of a police record under subsection (a) of this section, the law enforcement unit shall: 

 (1) search diligently for and expunge each police record about the arrest or confinement of the person; and 

 (2) send a notice of expungement containing all relevant facts about the expungement and underlying arrest or confinement to: 

 (i) the Central Repository; 

 (ii) each booking facility or law enforcement unit that the law enforcement unit believes may have a police record about the arrest or confinement; and 

 (iii) the person entitled to expungement. 

 (c) Duties of law enforcement unit after notice. — Within 60 days after receipt of the notice, the Central Repository, a booking facility, and any other law enforcement unit shall:  

(1) search diligently for and expunge each police record about the arrest or confinement of the person; and 

 (2) advise in writing the person entitled to expungement of compliance with the order.   (d) Expungement by obliteration.

(1) A police record expunged under this section may not be expunged by obliteration until 3 years after the date of expungement. 

 (2) During the 3-year period described in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the records shall be removed to a separate secure area to which persons who do not have a legitimate reason for access are denied access. 

 (3) For purposes of this subsection, a legitimate reason for accessing the records includes using the records for purposes of proceedings relating to the arrest. 

 (e) Remedies for failure to expunge. — If a law enforcement unit, a booking facility, or the Central Repository fails to expunge a police record as required under subsection (b) or (c) of this section, the person entitled to expungement may: 

 (1) seek redress by means of any appropriate legal remedy; and 

 (2) recover court costs. 

 (f) Waiver of fee or costs. — A person who is entitled to expungement under this section may not be required to pay any fee or costs in connection with the expungement. 

 

§ 10-104 CRIM. PROC. Authority to expunge records when nolle prosequi entered before service. 

 (a) In general. — Unless the State objects and shows cause why a record should not be expunged, if the State enters a nolle prosequi as to all charges in a criminal case within the jurisdiction of the District Court with which a defendant has not been served, the District Court may order expungement of each court record, police record, or other record that the State or a political subdivision of the State keeps as to the charges. 

 (b) Costs. — The District Court may not assess any costs against a defendant for a proceeding under subsection (a) of this section. 10-106. 

 (a) In this section, “delinquency petition” means a petition filed under Section 3-8A-10 of the Courts Article alleging that a child is a delinquent child.    (b) A person may file, AND A COURT SHALL GRANT, a petition for expungement of a criminal charge transferred to the juvenile court under Section 4-202 of this article: 

 

§ 10-105 CRIM. PROC

(a) Petition for expungement. — A person who has been charged with the commission of a crime, including a violation of the Transportation Article for which a term of imprisonment may be imposed, or who has been charged with a civil offense or infraction, except a juvenile offense, as a substitute for a criminal charge may file a petition listing relevant facts for expungement of a police record, court record, or other record maintained by the State or a political subdivision of the State if:

 

  (1) the person is acquitted;

 

  (2) the charge is otherwise dismissed;

 

  (3) a probation before judgment is entered, unless the person is charged with a violation of § 21-902 of the Transportation Article or Title 2, Subtitle 5 or § 3-211 of the Criminal Law Article;

 

  (4) a nolle prosequi or nolle prosequi with the requirement of drug or alcohol treatment is entered;

 

  (5) the court indefinitely postpones trial of a criminal charge by marking the criminal charge “stet” or stet with the requirement of drug or alcohol abuse treatment on the docket;

 

  (6) the case is compromised under § 3-207 of the Criminal Law Article;

 

  (7) the charge was transferred to the juvenile court under § 4-202 of this article;

 

  (8) the person:

 

  (i) is convicted of only one criminal act, and that act is not a crime of violence; and

 

  (ii) is granted a full and unconditional pardon by the Governor; or

 

  (9) the person was convicted of a crime under any State or local law that prohibits:

 

  (i) urination or defecation in a public place;

 

  (ii) panhandling or soliciting money;

 

  (iii) drinking an alcoholic beverage in a public place;

 

  (iv) obstructing the free passage of another in a public place or a public conveyance;

 

  (v) sleeping on or in park structures, such as benches or doorways;

 

  (vi) loitering;

 

  (vii) vagrancy;

 

  (viii) riding a transit vehicle without paying the applicable fare or exhibiting proof of payment; or

 

  (ix) Except for carrying or possessing an explosive, acid, concealed weapon, or other dangerous article as provided in § 7-705(b)(6) of the Transportation Article, any of the acts specified in § 7-705 of the Transportation Article.

 

  (b) Where petition filed. — (1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection, a person shall file a petition in the court in which the proceeding began.

 

  (2) If the proceeding began in one court and was transferred to another court, the person shall file the petition in the court to which the proceeding was transferred.

 

  (3)(i) If the proceeding in a court of original jurisdiction was appealed to a court exercising appellate jurisdiction, the person shall file the petition in the appellate court.

 

  (ii) The appellate court may remand the matter to the court of original jurisdiction.

 

  (c) Time of filing. — (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a petition for expungement based on an acquittal, a nolle prosequi, or a dismissal may not be filed within 3 years after the disposition, unless the petitioner files with the petition a written general waiver and release of all the petitioner’s tort claims arising from the charge.

 

  (2) A petition for expungement based on a probation before judgment or a stet with the requirement of drug or alcohol abuse treatment may not be filed earlier than the later of:

 

  (i) the date the petitioner was discharged from probation or the requirements of obtaining drug or alcohol abuse treatment were completed; or

 

  (ii) 3 years after the probation was granted or stet with the requirement of drug or alcohol abuse treatment was entered on the docket.

 

  (3) A petition for expungement based on a nolle prosequi with the requirement of drug or alcohol treatment may not be filed until the completion of the required treatment.

 

  (4) A petition for expungement based on a full and unconditional pardon by the Governor may not be filed later than 10 years after the pardon was signed by the Governor.

 

  (5) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a petition for expungement based on a stet or a compromise under § 3-207 of the Criminal Law Article may not be filed within 3 years after the stet or compromise.

 

  (6) A petition for expungement based on the conviction of a crime under subsection (a)(9) of this section may not be filed within 3 years after the conviction or satisfactory completion of the sentence, including probation, that was imposed for the conviction, whichever is later.

 

  (7) A court may grant a petition for expungement at any time on a showing of good cause.

 

  (d) Period for objection by State’s Attorney. — (1) The court shall have a copy of a petition for expungement served on the State’s Attorney.

 

  (2) Unless the State’s Attorney files an objection to the petition for expungement within 30 days after the petition is served, the court shall pass an order requiring the expungement of all police records and court records about the charge.

 

  (e) Hearing on expungement. — (1) If the State’s Attorney files a timely objection to the petition, the court shall hold a hearing.

 

  (2) If the court at the hearing finds that the person is entitled to expungement, the court shall order the expungement of all police records and court records about the charge.

 

  (3) If the court finds that the person is not entitled to expungement, the court shall deny the petition.

 

  (4) The person is not entitled to expungement if:

 

  (i) the petition is based on the entry of probation before judgment, a nolle prosequi, a stet, including a nolle prosequi with the requirement of drug or alcohol treatment or a stet with the requirement of drug or alcohol abuse treatment, a conviction for a crime specified in subsection (a)(9) of this section, or the grant of a pardon by the Governor; and

 

  (ii) the person:

 

  1. since the full and unconditional pardon, entry, or conviction has been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation; or

 

  2. is a defendant in a pending criminal proceeding.

 

  (f) Notice of compliance. — Unless an order is stayed pending an appeal, within 60 days after entry of the order, every custodian of the police records and court records that are subject to the order of expungement shall advise in writing the court and the person who is seeking expungement of compliance with the order.

 

  (g) Appellate review. — (1) The State’s Attorney is a party to the proceeding.

 

  (2) A party aggrieved by the decision of the court is entitled to appellate review as provided in the Courts Article.