Personalized Attention From A Small Law Firm With Large Law Firm Resources

What are the barriers to expungement and record sealing?

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2023 | CRIMINAL LAW - Criminal Defense

Having a criminal record can cause many problems in one’s personal or professional life. Most employers will do a thorough background check, making it difficult to get a job after being convicted of a crime like driving under the influence or drug possession. A criminal record can also impact one’s ability to find housing. For some, an expungement or sealing of their criminal record is an option, but these processes do have barriers and it’s not easy to get one’s criminal record expunged or sealed.  

Expungement and record sealing 

Maryland has recently tried to make it easier for some residents to complete the expungement or record-sealing process. With expungement, arrests and convictions are removed from a person’s record completely as if they never existed. When records are sealed, the arrests and convictions are still there, but can only be found by court officials and specific law enforcement agencies.  

The REDEEM Act cut the waiting period in half, making it easier for people with certain types of criminal records to file for expungement. There are fees associated with expungement and record sealing that can prevent some people from being able to access those legal processes. Even with the state’s new regulations, there is a backlog of cases, making it a very lengthy process from the point of filing to the point where expungement is completed, or the records are sealed.  

Seek help to get back on track 

A mistake can lead to a lifetime of consequences when one is convicted of a crime. Fortunately, there are laws in place that allow those with certain types of convictions to petition to have their records sealed or expunged. Maryland residents who wish to petition the court for expungement or record sealing can benefit from working with an experienced criminal law attorney.