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How Long Does the Process of Expungement Typically Take?

The Law Office Phillips & Allen PA Nov. 20, 2022

This would really vary, depending on how many expungements the clerks have received at the time someone filed their expungement. An order would be issued to anyone or any entity involved and listed on the petition, which is why it would be key to make sure someone had an attorney who handled expungements so they could list the appropriate law enforcement entities on there.

After the court issued an order, everyone, including us, would have 30 days to report back stating they had sealed the records off. If I expunged a client’s case, then my records to the case would need to be destroyed.  Once everyone concerned had reported back to the court, they would usually be looking at another 30 days before everything disappeared from the system. It would be the attorney’s job to monitor and make sure that everything was gone, so the person could usually expect it to take something around 90 days.

What Some Alternative Punishments To Jail?

There are a lot of options as alternatives to jail. The person could end up with home confinement, which is becoming more and more popular in most jurisdictions, including western Maryland. They might get community service and in certain cases we suggest for the person to do community service ahead of time.

There would obviously be fines levied in many cases, and there would also be certain treatment requirements with regards to the person being charged with drunk driving, in which case they would need to go for alcohol classes. Drug cases would require drug treatment counseling or classes and anger management classes would be ordered in domestic violence cases.

Can Someone Get Their Record Sealed Or Expunged If They Have A Prior Arrest Or Conviction?

This would be possible with certain dispositions. The person would be able to get an expungement if their case was dismissed as “Nolle prosequi,” or if they went to trial and were found not guilty. They would have to sign a whole waiver agreeing not to sue the state, but we would be able to get those kinds of cases expunged and get that sealed up.

We would also be able to get it done for other dispositions, certain PBJs or STETs, although the person would usually have to wait 3 years. It could be expunged a little earlier in certain circumstances, although certain cases like drunk driving, even with the probation before judgment, could never be removed from the record so those charges would stay there forever.

The person would not be able to get it expunged if they had been convicted of a crime, and the only way to get rid of that would be to make friends with influential people and the governor’s office so they could get a pardon from the governor’s office.

Is There A Look Back Period Where A Second Offense Would Be Considered A First Offense Again?

There is no formal look back period of that nature, although there is somewhat of an informal look back period. If it had been more than 10 years since someone had been convicted of drunk driving, then a lot of prosecutors and judges would look at that as a first offense, with the mindset that someone who was a habitual drunk driver would not get to 15 or 20 years without getting tagged for a drunk driving. It would be more common for a first offense to be viewed as a second offense.

With regards to drunk driving, if someone was on probation before their judgment on the first offense and then got picked up at the second offense within a fairly short period of time, then the second case, even though there had been no conviction on the first offense, the first case would be viewed as a conviction and it would basically turn the first offense into somewhat of a second offense thereby making it worse.

For more information on Expungement and Alternatives to Jail, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking talk Arnold F. Phillips by calling today.