Since February 2023, Williams, McClernan, & Stack (WMS) has led a monthly expungement clinic in partnership with the St. Mary’s County Health Department. The expungement clinic is a free legal resource available to St. Mary’s County residents seeking expungement for qualifying criminal records under Maryland law. WMS holds these clinics at the St. Mary’s County Health Hub, located at 21656 Great Mills Road in Lexington Park.
Expungement is a court-ordered process in which information regarding certain court cases is removed from court and law enforcement records. Expungement generally applies to records that did not result in a conviction (i.e., cases placed on the stet docket), but some types of conviction can also be expunged. Expungement allows individuals who have been involved in criminal court proceedings to “clean up” parts of their criminal record so that they may have better access to employment, education, and housing opportunities.
Maryland Passes REDEEM Act of 2023
Recently, Maryland has enacted expungement reform to improve the wait time for qualifying individuals to get their records expunged. The Maryland REDEEM Act of 2023, which Governor Moore signed into law earlier this year, “allows for anyone convicted of a qualifying misdemeanor offense to expunge their record five years after completing their sentence terms. Similarly, those convicted of nonviolent felonies could qualify to request an expungement in only seven years.” (REDEEM Act of 2023 Passes in Maryland - Pre-Employ)
Prior to the passing of this bill, individuals who were convicted of certain crimes would have to wait 10-15 years, depending on the type of offense, in order to qualify for expungement.
The last two expungement clinics of the year will be held on November 7 and December 5. St. Mary’s County residents must schedule an appointment for the clinic by contacting the St. Mary’s County Health Hub at 301-904-8949 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, the firm will be hosting its annual expungement clinic in January 2024 at the Lexington Park Library. The tentative date is January 25, 2024. More information about our event will follow.