It is not uncommon for teens to engage in mischief without giving any thought to the consequences. Unfortunately, the consequences for mischievous behavior can and often do include arrest, possible jail time and a criminal record.
If a mistake you made in your teenage years now haunts you into adulthood, you may wonder if the courts will expunge your juvenile criminal record. The People’s Law Library of Maryland provides a juvenile record expungement checklist to help you determine whether you qualify for the eradication of your criminal record.
One or more events occurred in your juvenile case
To qualify for juvenile record expungement in Maryland, one or more events must have occurred during your juvenile case. Those events are as follows:
- The courts dismissed the petition for Child in Need of Supervision or delinquency
- The State’s Attorney submitted a nolle prosequi, or a formal notice of abandonment
- After holding an adjudicatory hearing, the courts found no truth in the allegations listed in the Child in Need of Supervision petition, delinquency petition or citation
- The courts failed to hold an adjudicatory hearing within two years of the citation or filing of the petition for delinquency or Child in Need of Supervision
- Following a disposition hearing, the courts found that you required treatment, guidance or rehabilitation
- Following a disposition hearing, the courts found that you did not require treatment, guidance or rehabilitation
If you can prove that at least one of the above occurred, you must then demonstrate that you meet additional criteria.
You meet each of the following criteria
If your juvenile case qualifies for expungement, you must then demonstrate that you qualify as an individual. To do so, you must be at least 18 years old and able to demonstrate that the courts never adjudicated you delinquent or that they only adjudicated you delinquent one time. You must also show that at least two years have passed since the occurrence of the last official action on your juvenile record and that, since then, the courts have not convicted you of any subsequent offenses. You must also show that you do not have a pending criminal charge or delinquency petition against you.
Moreover, you must prove that the crime for which the courts did adjudicate you would not constitute a violent crime, felony or fourth-degree sexual offense if committed by an adult. You must also not have a legal obligation to register as a sex offender, and your juvenile defense must not have involved the use of a firearm to commit a violent crime. Finally, if the court-ordered monetary restitution, you must have paid it in full.
If you meet each of the requirements, the courts will then consider whether expunging your record is in the best interests of you, your community and the public’s safety. If it is, the courts may agree to expunge your juvenile record. For the greatest odds of success, obtain the help you need.