2015 HB 904 Proposes Automatic Expungement of Records

2015 MD HB 904, sponsored by Delegate Carter, proposes to shift record expungement from the citizen to the State.

At present, per the Fiscal and Policy Note:

For arrests, detentions, or confinements occurring before October 1, 2007, a person who is arrested, detained, or confined by a law enforcement unit for the suspected commission of a crime and then is released without being charged with the commission of a crime may request the expungement of the police record. The request must be made within eight years after the incident, and if found to be eligible, the person is entitled to expungement of the applicable records related to the arrest. Individuals who are entitle to this type of expungement are not required to pay any fee or costs in connection with the expungement.

HB 904 proposes to shift expungement responsibility to the State.

For charges occurring on or after October 1, 2015, unless the State objects and shows cause why a record should not be expunged, a person who has been charged with the commission of a crime, including a violation of the Transportation Article for which a term of imprisonment may be imposed, or who has been charged with a civil offense or infraction, except a juvenile offense, as a substitute for a criminal charge, is entitled to expungement of all court and police records relating to the charge if (1) the person is acquitted or (2) the charge is otherwise dismissed.
Within 60 days after an acquittal or dismissal of a charge against a person entitled to expungement, the law enforcement unit must (1) search diligently for and expunge each police record relating to the charge and (2) send a notice of expungement and underlying arrest or confinement to the Central Repository, each booking facility or law enforcement unit that the law enforcement unit believes may have a police record about the arrest or confinement, and the person entitled to expungement.