Criminal Records and Employment

Whether you are applying for a new job or a promotion, the likelihood of the employer conducting a criminal background check is high.

If you have a criminal background, checking into whether or not the record could be removed is well worth the effort. Maryland law states that if an individual has their record removed, disclosure of the record is not required on the job application or at an interview. You do not have to provide any information regarding the removed record when asked about criminal charges.

What is Expungement?

Expungement is the removal of court and police records from public inspection. It is a way to keep records private. In Maryland, records for adults may be expunged from

  • Motor Vehicle Administration files
  • Police files
  • Court and police files

Guidelines for Getting Records Expunged – Juvenile

A Juvenile record is a court record and police record concerning a child alleged or judged delinquent or in need of supervision, or who has received a citation for a violation. A Juvenile record may be expunged under certain circumstances. You may be eligible to have your juvenile record expunged – removed from public inspection – if:

  1. A child in need of supervision (CINS) petition or a juvenile delinquency petition was filed concerning you, or
  2. You received a juvenile citation.

Not every person with a juvenile record will be eligible for expungement. Learn more about Juvenile Record Expungement.

Guidelines for Getting Records Expunged – Adults

Expungement removes very specific files and must be done through the proper agency. You must apply for expungement of each arrest based on the date of arrest and according to the disposition.

If there are no objections or appeals, the process of having a criminal record expunged should not take more than 90 days. In Maryland, expungement only applies to the removal of non-convictions and certain kinds of convictions. There is not a process that will expunge records from all three agencies; you must go to the proper agency to have your record expunged for that agency.

Expunging Motor Vehicle Administration Files

Expungement of Motor Vehicle Administration Files refers to the removal of points and violations from a driver record that were placed there after the driver was convicted of violating certain laws. To find out more about

  • What type of files can be expunged
  • How to request an expungement of a file

contact the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).

Expunging Police Records

Effective October 1, 2007, if you were held by the police but no charges were filed, the records will automatically be expunged within 60 days after release. If you were held by the police, but were released without being charged prior to October 1, 2007, records may exist. To have these records expunged, you need to contact the arresting agency and request an Investigative Release Form and ask for specific information on how the process works. You must request that a record is expunged within 8 years of the date the incident occurred. For more information contact the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) of the Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services.

Expunging Court and Police Records

Court and police records may exist if you have been:

  • arrested and charged with a crime, including a traffic violation, and prison term has been imposed, or
  • charged with a civil offense or infraction instead of a criminal charge.

You may get these records expunged if:

  • You were not found guilty
  • You were found guilty of certain nuisance crimes, but the charge was dismissed
  • The charge resulted in probation before judgment (this does not include charges of driving under the influence or driving while impaired)
  • The State’s Attorney did not prosecute the charge
  • The Court postponed your case indefinitely or your case was compromised
  • You were convicted of only one non-violent criminal act and you were granted a full and unconditional pardon by the Governor

Expungement Application

If You Were Not Charged with a Crime

If you were released without being charged and did not have to appear in court, you need to:

  • Go to the agency where the arrest occurred and request the appropriate forms and follow the agencies procedure to have the date of the arrest and charge removed from your Criminal History Record

If You Were Charged with a Crime

If you were charged with a crime, you need to:

  • Complete the appropriate forms. You can get these forms at any district or circuit court or you can download them.
  • Submit the completed forms to the court clerk in the court where your case was heard.
  • Pay the non-refundable filing fee.

List of District and Circuit Courts in Maryland.

Forms Required to Expunge a Court and Police Records
Petition for Expungement of Records (Form CC-DC-CR-072)
General Waiver and Release (Form CC-DC-CR-078)

Federal Bonding Program

If you cannot get your record expunged another option is the Federal Bonding Program. This program provides an incentive for employers to hire qualified applicants who have a criminal background. If you are bonded, the employer is protected free-of-charge for six months in the event of loss of money or property due to employee dishonesty.