Silver Spring Expungement and Record Sealing Attorney

Expungement Attorney Defending Clients in Silver Spring, MD

One mistake should not ruin your life. Unfortunately, having a criminal record can mean that some opportunities are closed off to you. You may be rejected from jobs you are well-qualified for because of a long-ago conviction or denied admission to a university you would otherwise get into because of a youthful mistake. Landlords may not want to rent to you, even if your conviction in no way suggests that you would be a poor tenant. It can also be embarrassing to have information about a mistake you made available to the public.

Fortunately, there may be a way to have certain nonviolent convictions expunged or sealed, so that most parties who conduct a background check will not see them. The Law Offices of Gerstenfield & Demirji, PC. is experienced in presenting strong and convincing arguments to the court showing that your conviction should not remain visible on your public record.

When Can a Case be Expunged?

Some convictions can be automatically expunged or sealed after you complete a diversion program. Minor, victimless, and nonviolent drug crimes like drug possession or underage drinking and cannabis use may be wiped from your record after you receive treatment and stay clean and sober for a period of time under court supervision.

You may be able to have your offense expunged if:

  • You were found not guilty,
  • You were arrested, but never actually charged with a crime,
  • The prosecutor chose not to pursue the charges you were facing,
  • Your charge was dismissed by the court,
  • You were found not criminally responsible
  • You received probation before a judgment was issued, and successfully completed your probation,
  • You were convicted of a "nuisance crime," like drinking in public or carrying an animal on public transportation,
  • Your case was indefinitely postponed by the state,
  • You only have a single conviction on your record and it was not a violent offense, or
  • You were convicted of an offense prior to July 1, 1975.

Expungement proceedings exist to help people with minor criminal convictions move on so that a single lapse in judgment does not haunt them for the rest of their lives. Most nonviolent misdemeanors and even some felonies can be expunged, although there may be a long waiting period before you can seal your record.

Examples of crimes that can eventually be expunged if they were your only offense include most juvenile crimes, DUI or DWI, and drug possession.

Expungement of Minor Cannabis Offenses

Now that cannabis is perfectly legal for adults in Maryland to possess, use, and grow in reasonable amounts, it does not make much sense to keep punishing people for it. If you were convicted of a cannabis-related offense that would be legal if you did it today, you may be able to have your record sealed.

People who were convicted of possession of cannabis for personal use or growing cannabis plants for personal use before doing so became legal are generally eligible to have their records expunged.

What is the Difference Between Expungement and Sealing?

Expungement and sealing both prevent most parties who would run a background check on you from uncovering your conviction or arrest. Expungement means that the court effectively deletes your record as if it never existed. Sealing means that while the court keeps the record of your offense, it is shielded from the public view. A sealed offense might be visible to government agencies, but not to private employers, landlords, or citizens.

Only certain types of nonserious offenses can be sealed. To decide whether to shield your record, the court will consider the nature of the offense, the interests of justice, and your rehabilitation.

Contact a Silver Spring, MD Expungement and Record Sealing Lawyer

The Law Offices of Gerstenfield & Demirji, PC. is committed to helping eligible former defendants expunge or seal their records. Our Silver Spring, MD attorneys for record sealing and expungement believe in second chances for people who have made a single nonviolent mistake. Contact us at 301-589-9500 for a complimentary consultation.

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