Having a Maryland criminal record may haunt you, and this holds true even if your record contains information about an offense you received a conviction for as a juvenile. Depending on the type of conviction you received, you may find that it follows you for years. You may also find that that it creates barriers for you when it comes to finding a job or housing, among other possible consequences.
Per the Maryland Courts, you may, depending on circumstances, be able to ask to have your juvenile record expunged. Expungement means that your record becomes unviewable to the public either through destruction or by its transfer to a more secure location that restricts access to such documents.
Determining eligibility for juvenile expungement
Not everyone with a juvenile record is eligible for expungement. However, you may be able to request one if you are at least 18 and received either a juvenile citation or had someone file a juvenile delinquency or child in need of supervision petition against you.
There are certain circumstances that may prevent you from having your juvenile record expunged. If the offense listed on it was sexual in nature, this prevents you from being able to have your record expunged. If your offense was a violent one and involved the use of a firearm, this, too, would make you ineligible for expungement.
Requesting the expungement
If you meet the eligibility criteria for an expungement, you may move forward with requesting one. To do so, you need to file a petition outlining your request in the court where you received your juvenile petition or citation in the first place.
Many people make mistakes during adolescence. However, Maryland’s juvenile expungement opportunity may help you minimize or eliminate any hardships associated with having a juvenile record.