There are many criminal charges that can affect a defendant’s life.
For example, a charge for
domestic violence can affect someone’s job, social circles, and familial responsibilities.
In most criminal cases, the public can access the case record once the
case has been completed. For some individuals, this could cause significant
problems down the road.
In Maryland, you can seek to have the court limit the public’s access
to your case record; however, there are some specific requirements. These are:
— You were not found guilty of a crime.
— There is no temporary or pending protective or peace order between
you and the other party.
— There are no criminal charges pending against you that relate to
the other party.
— There was no final protective or peace order issued against you
that relates to the other party.
If, and only if, the above four statements apply to you, then you may move
onto the next six statements that must also apply to you:
— The other party in the case agrees to keep the record closed.
— During the time that the protection or peace order was in place,
you didn’t violate the terms of it.
— You haven’t been found guilty of any crime involving the
— There are no pending or temporary protective or peace orders against you.
— You don’t have any criminal charges pending.
— There was no other final protective or peace order in place at
any time involving the other party.
If three years have passed since the judge dismissed or denied the
protective or peace order, then you can ask that the public not be allowed to access the case record.
You can also seek to have the record closed earlier than that if you file
a General Waiver and Release form.
As you can see, limiting the public’s access to your case record
can be complex. An attorney experienced in Maryland criminal law can give
you more information on whether your case will qualify for having the
public denied access.
Source: Maryland Access to Justice Commission, “Can I keep the public from seeing information about me in a peace or protective
order case?,” accessed July 22, 2015