Expungement of a Criminal Traffic Offense
An unfortunate experience like being arrested or convicted of a traffic offense in Maryland does not have to follow you for life. With the help of a knowledgeable attorney, you may be able to request the expungement of your criminal record and gain a fresh start.
Two Expungement Processes in Maryland
There are two expungement processes you should be aware of to completely regain your freedom after being charged with or convicted of a jailable traffic offense. If the Maryland MVA has suspended or revoked your driver’s license due to your traffic charge, you’ll need to apply for a separate expungement to clear your driving record. A successful expungement through the MVA will lead to the reinstatement of your full driving privileges.
In this article, we will describe the process of expunging a criminal charge through the courts. Expunging a criminal charge is the only way to prevent the general public from accessing your criminal record. It’s vital to know that expunging a traffic offense through the MVA will not remove the criminal charge from the courts’ records, so it’s important to understand both processes fully.
Why Should I Apply for Expungement?
Expungement provides those who have made past mistakes obtain a clean slate. Having even one criminal charge on your record could make it difficult to find housing, develop a prosperous career, and be eligible for government services. A criminal record may be discovered by anyone who conducts a background check. Applying for expungement can be a way to move past your legal troubles.
Which Traffic Charges May Be Expunged?
Many factors could influence whether your specific offense may be expunged. Generally, expungement applies to traffic charges for which you may face the possibility of incarceration. Less serious traffic offenses for which you might not be jailed or imprisoned may not be expunged from your criminal record; however, the MVA may be able to drop the charges from your driving record after some time.
Examples of jailable traffic offenses in Maryland include:
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Driving without a license
- Excessive speeding (at least 15 mph over the posted speed limit)
Payable offenses, such as speeding tickets or running a stop sign, may not be expunged through the courts.
To learn whether your specific charge may be removed from your criminal record, discuss your case with a dedicated traffic attorney like Hillel Traub. You can call (410) 580-1100 for a free consultation.
Who is Eligible for Expungement of a Criminal Record?
Although not everyone will be eligible to have their record expunged, the State of Maryland allows for many situations in which a record may be expunged or partially expunged. Generally, you may request expungement of a criminal charge or conviction if:
- You’ve been arrested, detained, or confined by law enforcement but have not been formally charged with a crime
- You’ve been convicted of an offense, but it’s considered a “nuisance crime” or traffic crime
- You’ve been convicted of a nonviolent crime
- The State dismissed your criminal charge
- You received Probation Before Judgement (except in alcohol-related traffic cases)
- Your offense has been on your record since before July 1, 1975
- The State found you were not criminally responsible for the offense
- The State has acquitted you of a crime you were charged with (you were found “not guilty”)
- The Governor of Maryland pardoned you
Depending on the facts of your case, you may not be eligible to file for expungement right away. If you’re currently a defendant in a case or have been convicted of another crime that may lead to incarceration, you will not be eligible for expungement. Working with an attorney can help you navigate the process so you can make the most of your options.
Contact a Baltimore Traffic Expungement Attorney
Whether or not you were convicted of a traffic offense, you should approach expungement with an attorney by your side to ensure all procedures are followed carefully and your rights are protected. Working with a lawyer who is familiar with expungement procedures will improve your chance of successfully clearing your criminal record.
With more than 20 years of experience, attorney Hillel Traub exudes passion for defending the people of Baltimore and surrounding areas against traffic charges. He has worked as a Maryland Assistant Attorney General for the MVA and can help you navigate both expungement processes. Call the Law Office of Hillel Traub for more information regarding the expungement of your criminal record today. Mr. Traub provides free consultations and personalized service.
Call (410) 580-1100 or complete our contact form.