The punishment for a criminal conviction lasts long after the sentence has been served: it is part of the court records. If someone is found not guilty or the case is dismissed, the arrest could still be found by anyone searching Maryland Criminal Arrest and Court records.
An Arrest Can Cause Permanent Damage
Background checks are just a fact of life; it is cheap, fast and easy for just about anyone with a computer to look at another person’s criminal record. Employers, banks and landlords routinely take a look before making a decision. If someone is applying for a security clearance or a professional license, a past arrest will be a problem, for instance, it can impact the availability of a student grant or loan and prevent someone from enlisting in the armed services; also, potential relationships can be jeopardized when the other person discovers past problems. An arrest record will damage a person’s future and violate their privacy.
Expunging or Shielding Court and Police Records
Court and police records can be expunged or shielded depending upon several factors; the rules for doing so are complicated and include the following.
1. How long ago was the arrest?
2. Was a formal charge brought and what was the outcome?
3. Did the arrest result in more than one charge?
Expunged records are removed from public view but the requirements are fairly strict. Normally, it’s necessary to wait three years before asking to have a record expunged, but it’s certainly possible to file for expungement earlier. The court must be convinced that “good cause” exists before granting the expungement.
Shielding court records is easier but still allows certain parties to have access to the records. However, it is possible for some convictions to be shielded that could not be expunged from the record.
DNA samples have been taken from those accused of certain crimes since 2008. The law states that the DNA must be destroyed if the person is never charged or convicted, but many people formally request that their DNA record be expunged.
It can take as long as six months to complete the expungement process so don’t delay in contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Cambridge, MD; Mark A. Zeve is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Cambridge, MD who is available 24/7.