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New Maryland Laws Take Effect on October 1, 2017 – Spotlight on Expungement

Untitled drawing (1)New Maryland laws take effect on October 1, 2017!  We will be publishing a series of posts highlighting a few of the newly enacted laws.  This series is just a small sampling of the new laws enacted by the 2017 Legislative Session.  To read about more laws resulting from the 2017 session, see the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2017 Session published by the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) of the General Assembly of Maryland. For a full listing of new laws effective October 1, 2017, check out this publication from DLS.

Although effective October 1, 2017, the Justice Reinvestment Act which made significant changes to the expungement law, was actually passed during the 2016 session.  SB1005/CH515 known as the Justice Reinvestment Act (JRA), among other things, authorized “a person to file a petition listing relevant facts for expungement of a police, court, or other record if the person is convicted of specified misdemeanors. A petition for expungement may not be filed earlier than 10 years after the person satisfied the sentence or sentences imposed for all convictions for which expungement is requested, including parole, probation, or mandatory supervision. If the person is convicted of a new crime during the 10-year waiting period, the original conviction or convictions are not eligible for expungement unless the new conviction becomes eligible. A person is not eligible for expungement if the person is a defendant in a pending criminal proceeding or if one conviction in a unit is not eligible for expungement. In general, a person must file a petition for expungement in the court in which the proceeding began. However, the bill specifies procedures for situations involving transfers to another court or the juvenile court. In addition, the bill specifies procedural requirements regarding objections to a petition, hearings, and appeals.”

Now Maryland law (codified in section 10-110 of the Criminal Procedure Article) allows for expungement of more misdemeanor convictions after a certain period of time.  WIth changes, the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS) offered a webinar on expungement that covered the new and old expungement law.  Matthew Stubenberg, creator of the MDexpungement app, was the presenter.  The presentation, JRA Expungements,  is online and the full webinar will be available soon. MVLS has also posted a list online that details which offenses are eligible for expungement  under the JRA:  All Convictions Eligible Under the JRA.

New expungement forms will be made available October 1 – one for non-guilty records and one for guilty.  You can view them online now but they are not ready for use. Per Matthew:

CC-DC-CR-072 A should be used for the expungement of acquittal, dismissal, probation before judgment, nolle pros, stet, and certain not criminally responsible dispositions. There will be no filing fee for these dispositions.

 CC-DC-CR-072 B should be used for the expungement of eligible guilty dispositions. The filing fee for guilty dispositions is $30.

MVLS has provided this training to those who are interested and hope those who do will volunteer by taking a case  OR taking part in an expungement clinic

Volunteer attorneys are also needed to help with expungement at the  Anne Arundel County Homeless Resource Day which is scheduled for October 28, 2017.

To learn more about expungement and expungement resources, check out expungement on the Maryland People’s Law Library and our wiki page. In addition, the Maryland Courts website includes information on how to expunge your records and a video.

Note that all quotations, unless noted otherwise, are attributable to the 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2016 Session published by the Department of Legislative Services of the General Assembly of Maryland.  

By Joan Bellistri

Law Library Director for the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library

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