DO JUVENILE RECORDS GO AWAY ONCE I TURN 18?
No, your juvenile record does not automatically go away once you turn 18 years old. And you want to take care of these because information about your juvenile record can be requested by other people such as potential employers. To limit who can view your juvenile record, you must file a Petition to Expunge Juvenile Arrest Record.
WHAT IF MY CASE ENDED UP IN ADULT COURT?
If your juvenile case ended up in adult criminal court, you will have two records to expunge – the juvenile record will not automatically disappear.
Maryland law permits a person with a juvenile record to petition the court to have that record expunged, but it must meet certain criteria.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO EXPUNGE A JUVENILE RECORD?
Maryland has a law that establishes a procedure through which a person with a juvenile record can ask a court to have the record “expunged.”
When a record is expunged, court or police records are removed from public view.
This procedure includes notice to the victim, and the opportunity for the State’s Attorney and the victim to oppose expungement.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED A “JUVENILE RECORD?”
The juvenile expungement law covers “juvenile records”. A “juvenile record” is a court record or police record concerning a child who:
- is alleged, or adjudicated, delinquent or in need of supervision, or
- has received a citation for a violation.
HOW IS A “JUVENILE RECORD” EXPUNGED?
When a juvenile record is expunged, it is removed from public inspection. This can be done in one of three ways:
- By obliteration – which means that the record is destroyed or otherwise made unreadable,
- By removing the record to a separate secure area with restricted access, or
- If access to the record can be obtained only by reference to another court record or police record, by expunging that record or the part of that record that provides access.
DOES THE JUVENILE EXPUNGEMENT LAW COVER ALL JUVENILE RECORDS?
- NO. The law does not require expungement of all juvenile records. Two types of records are not covered:
- Records kept pursuant to Maryland law concerning sex offender registration Maryland Code, Criminal Procedure, § 11-701 et seq, and
- Records maintained by a law enforcement agency:
(1) for the sole purpose of collecting statistical information concerning juvenile delinquency, and
(2) that do not contain any information that would reveal a person’s identity.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY JUVENILE RECORDS CAN BE EXPUNGED?
Not everyone with a juvenile record will be eligible for expungement.
The law sets out a number of factors that a judge must consider before the judge can order a juvenile record expunged.
BELOW IS THE CRITERIA THAT MUST BE MET BEFORE A JUDGE WILL CONSIDER EXPUNGING A JUVENILE RECORD:
Sarah R. Kaplan, Esq., Department of Family Administration, AOC
USE THIS CHECKLIST TO DETERMINE IF YOU HAVE JUVENILE RECORDS THAT CAN BE EXPUNGED
For a court to order a juvenile record expungement, the judge must:
• Find that ANY ONE of the factors listed below in (A) has occurred; and
• Find that EACH of the factors listed below in (B) has occurred; and
• Consider each of the factors listed below in (C).
Did ANY ONE of the following occur in your juvenile case?
1. The State’s Attorney entered a nolle prosequi; OR
2. The delinquency or Child in Need of Supervision petition was dismissed; OR
3. The court held an adjudicatory hearing and in that hearing, did not find that the allegations in the delinquency petition, Child in Need of Supervision petition or citation were true; OR
4. An adjudicatory hearing was not held within two years after the delinquency petition, Child in Need of Supervision petition or citation was filed; OR
5. The court held a disposition hearing and in that hearing, found that you did not require guidance, treatment or rehabilitation; OR
6. The court held a disposition hearing and in that hearing, found that you did require guidance, treatment or rehabilitation.
Is EACH of the following true?
1. You are at least 18 years old; AND
2. At least two years have passed since the last official action in your juvenile record; AND
3. You have never been adjudicated delinquent or you were only adjudicated delinquent one time; AND
4. You have not subsequently been convicted of any offense; AND
5. No delinquency petition or criminal charge is pending against you;
6. You have not been adjudicated delinquent for an offense that, if committed by an adult, would constitute:
• A crime of violence (as defined in MD Code Ann., Criminal Law § 14-101(link is external)); OR
• A violation of MD Code Ann., Criminal Law § 3-308(link is external) (fourth degree sexual offense); OR
• A felony (A “felony” is a crime which is generally more serious in nature. A crime is a felony either because the Maryland General Assembly said the crime was a felony or because it has historically been considered to be a felony.); AND
7. You have not been required to register as a sex offender under MD Code Ann., Criminal Procedure § 11-704(c)(link is external); AND
8. You have not been adjudicated delinquent for an offense involving the use of a firearm (defined in MD Code Ann., Public Safety § 5-101(link is external)), in the commission of a crime of violence (defined in MD Code Ann., Criminal Law § 14-101(link is external));
9. You have fully paid any monetary restitution ordered by the court in the delinquency proceeding.
Read the Law: MD Code Ann., Courts & Judiciary Proceedings § 3-8A-27.1(c)(2)-(9)(link is external)
The court must consider EACH of the following:
Your best interests; AND
Your stability in the community; AND
The safety of the public.
I THINK I HAVE A JUVENILE RECORD THAT CAN BE EXPUNGED. HOW DO I REQUEST EXPUNGEMENT?
If you believe that you have an expungeable juvenile record and meet the criteria for expungement, you may file a “petition” to ask the court to expunge the record.
The form to petition for juvenile expungment is Form 11-601.
This “petition” is a legal paper that starts a case.
You, as the person filing the petition, are called the “petitioner”.
YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE PETITION TO FILE FOR JUVENILE EXPUNGEMENT HERE.
WHERE SHOULD I FILE THE PETITION FOR EXPUNGEMENT?
You can file the petition for expungement in the court in which the juvenile petition or juvenile citation was filed.
AFTER I FILE THE PETITION, DOES ANYONE ELSE GET A COPY OF IT?
Yes. After the petition is filed with the court, the court has the petition served on certain people by mail or delivery:
- Each victim,
- Each family member of a victim who is listed in the court record as having attended the adjudication in the juvenile case, and
- The State’s Attorney for the county in which the petition is filed.
“Service” means that a copy of the expungement petition is provided to anyone on the other side of your case.
The “victim” is a person listed in the delinquency case as a person against whom a delinquent act was committed or attempted.
CAN ANY OF THE PEOPLE GETTING A COPY OF THE PETITION OBJECT TO THE JUDGE GRANTING ME AN EXPUNGMENT?
Yes. Each person who is served with the petition may object to the court granting the petition.
The juvenile expungement law does not require any particular form or content for an objection.
DOES THE COURT REQUIRE A HEARING FOR MY EXPUNGEMENT PETITION?
The court may, and in some circumstances must, hold a hearing before deciding on a petition for expungement.
Here are the different circumstances:
- NO TIMELY OBJECTION – If an objection is not filed within 30 days by one of the people served with the petition, the court may grant the petition without holding a hearing
- PETITION DOES NOT MEET THE GROUNDS- If the court finds that the petition does not meet the grounds for expungement, the court may deny the petition without holding a hearing.
- TIMELY OBJECTION – If the court does not dismiss the petition, and an objection is filed (within 30 days) by one of the people served with the petition, the court must hold a hearing.
- MAY HOLD A HEARING – The court may hold a hearing if it chooses to do so.
IF THERE IS A HEARING, WHAT CAN I EXPECT AT IT?
You can expect the following at a hearing:
- EVIDENCE BY THE PETITIONER: At the hearing, the petitioner (you or your attorney) presents evidence explaining why the court should grant the petition.
- EVIDENCE BY ANY PERSON FILING AN OBJECTION: Anyone who filed an objection presents evidence explaining why the court should not grant the petition.
- JUDGE’S DECISION: The judge decides whether to grant the petition; there is no jury.
WILL THE JUDGE DECIDE ON MY PETITION FOR EXPUNGEMENT AFTER THE HEARING?
YES. The judge will either grant or deny the petition.
- GRANTING THE PETITION – If the judge finds that you are entitled to expungement, he/she must grant the petition and order the expungement of all court records and police records relating to the delinquency petition, the Child in Need of Supervision (CINS) petition or the citation.
- If the court orders expungement, the format for the order must be substantially similar to Form 11-602.
- DENYING THE PETITION – If the judge finds that the person is not entitled to expungement, the court must deny the petition.
HOW WILL I KNOW THE JUDGE’S DECISION?
The judge’s decision will be put out in a written court order.
The court clerk will then serve the order either by mail or other delivery method – send it to the petitioner and every other person that was involved in the case.
IF MY PETITION FOR EXPUNGEMENT IS DENIED, CAN I APPEAL IT?
Yes. You, as the petitioner, may appeal an order denying an expungement petition.
The appeal must be filed within 30 days after entry of the order. This is done by filing a “notice of appeal (Form 22) with the clerk of the court that issued the order that is being appealed.
CAN ANYBODY APPEAL THE GRANTING OF MY PETITION FOR EXPUNGEMENT?
YES. The State’s Attorney may appeal an order granting an expungement pettion.
The State’s Attorney must file within 30 days after the entry of the order.