Silver Spring, MD asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Maryland

Q: I have a CDS conspiracy to distribute and a CDS distribute. Both charge are felony with a guilty. Charges are from 1992.

I am trying to find out if these charges can be expunged in Maryland?

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: The process of expunging criminal records, especially for felony charges, varies significantly by state and the nature of the charges. In Maryland, the laws regarding expungement have specific criteria that must be met for a record to be eligible.

For charges related to Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) like distribution or conspiracy to distribute, it's essential to understand that these are typically more challenging to expunge due to their seriousness. However, Maryland has undergone several changes in its expungement laws over the years, including expanding eligibility for certain convictions.

Since your charges date back to 1992, there might be provisions under the current law that could apply to your case. It's important to review the details of your conviction and see how they align with the current expungement criteria in Maryland.

Your best course of action is to consult with a lawyer who has experience in criminal law and expungements in Maryland. They can assess the specifics of your case and advise you on whether expungement is a possibility under current laws and, if so, guide you through the process.

Remember, seeking legal advice is a positive step towards understanding your options and potentially clearing your record. Each case is unique, and professional guidance is crucial in navigating the complexities of the law.

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

A: Felony convictions of possession with intent to distribute are expungeable after a period of years, ranging from 3, 7 and 10 years after all terms of the sentence and probation are completed depending on the nature of the controlled substance (cannabis being in the shorter range) and the specific nature of the charge or code section of the conviction. Today, the CDS crimes you describe fall under Section 5-602 of the Criminal Law Article. Back when you were convicted the code section was Article 27, Section 286, and perhaps other sections, so it may be necessary to compare the specific section your conviction is based upon to the language of the current section 5-602, because it is 5-602 that the expungement statute identifies for felony CDS convictions that may be expunged. You clearly satisfy the waiting time for filing a petition for expungement, assuming you are otherwise eligible. Consult an experienced criminal defense attorney to review your eligibility. It may simply be worth filing the petition and going before a judge to argue it in the event the State’s Attorney’s Office opposes it. That has proven necessary for several clients I’ve had with convictions based on the old code sections.

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