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What does it mean to have your criminal record expunged?

On Behalf of | May 22, 2023 | CRIMINAL LAW - Criminal Defense

A conviction for a criminal offense can have far-reaching legal and personal implications. Even after paying your debt to society, a criminal record can still linger on and cause problems. For instance, something as simple as a DUI on your record can make it quite difficult for you to find work or even rent a property.

Fortunately, the law allows you to petition for an expungement of certain criminal records. Basically, this is a legal process that allows you to seal an arrest or a conviction from the public. Upon expungement, the general public (like a potential employer or landlord) may not see your record should they run a background check on you.

What expungement does (and does not do)

Generally, an expungement cleans your record from the public eye. However, your record will still be visible to law enforcement and the courts. In other words, should you be arrested again (say for a second DUI), then your expunged record will impact your sentencing.

So why expunge your record?

Certainly, you can realize a number of benefits by having your record expunged. Here are some of these benefits:

Improved employability – Expungement eliminates hurdles that you would otherwise face as an ex-con while seeking employment. However, this does not apply to certain jobs like the military since your record will still show up when checked by the federal government.

Restore your reputation –Court records, including your arrests and convictions, are generally available to the public. This means that anyone can access this record from any location. Clearly, this can impact your relationships and reputation within the community.

Safeguarding your rights

If you are arrested, convicted and punished, you deserve a second chance after paying your debt to society. Seeking legal guidance to learn more about Maryland expungement laws can help you expunge your record and keep your unpleasant past from the eyes of the public.