Rockville, MD asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights and Federal Crimes for Maryland

Q: How do I remove an unrelated persons name from my indictment?

I’m in Silver spring, Maryland. I’m attempting to expunge a felony marijuana case from over 17 years ago. In the process of filing the paperwork, I discovered my date of birth on the internets case search was incorrect. I decided to purchase a copy of the indictment. In the indictment docket I also found a name that wasn’t mine (this person was recommended to prc just like I was.) I decided to case search the name- this person had the same judge I had, a dob that matched the internets case search and had an extensive criminal history. How do I correct my dob on my docket and remove the unrelated persons name from my docket?

1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: It depends on whether the mistakes were made by the clerk when updating the online Judiciary Case Search system, or whether these were errors made in-court by the judge at the time of sentencing or earlier in the charging documents by the police or prosecutors at the start of the cases. If the mistakes were made when the information was uploaded to the Case Search system, you may be able to get the clerk's office to correct the information. If the errors are in the court's case files at sentencing or before, then you will probably need a motion in each case to correct the record, and a court order signed by a judge directing the corrections be made.

You will have to prove who you are and that you are not the other defendant, and he is not you. How much money you want to spend on a lawyer to do this is up to you, but a lawyer is going to charge for their time, typically by the hour, and this is not a common issue, so how much time it may take depends on what the lawyer needs to do to both ascertain the nature and location of all the mistakes so they can be documented and presented to the court to correct, and to follow through with drafting and filing motions and supporting exchibits as necessary to secure their correction.

My advice would be to start with the criminal clerk's office and show where the mistakes are in both cases, and see what they say can be corrected on their end, and what must be corrected by motion. A separate motion will be required in each case where a mistake was made, if a motion is required. The State's Attorney's office must be served with the motions, and you must draft and provide a proposed order for the court to sign that directs the relief you are seeking. There must be sufficient factual allegations and supporting proof to satisfy the court that your allegations are correct and the relief should be granted. That may require photo copies of your driver's license, possibly your birth certificae, a signed affidavit, etc. The driver's license and birth certificate contain personally identifying information about you which you will be required to either redact in public filings (per procedural rules) or file under seal.

Before you go down this road, can you expunge your case without all this trouble? Maybe that's a lot easier and who cares about the mistakes in an expunged case file nobody can see anymore? If you are concerned others may mistake this other defendant's criminal case as yours, then you need to evaluate that risk differently. There are rare cases where two different defendants share the same first and last name and date of birth.

1 user found this answer helpful

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.