Shielding Convictions Under the Maryland Second Chance Act of 2015
Maryland Second Chance Act
The Maryland Legislature passed the Maryland Second Chance Act in 2015. The Second Chance Act allows people with certain convictions for specific crimes be “shielded” from public view.
Shielding differs from expungement, keeps some or all information in a case private from the public, most notably on Maryland Judiciary Case Search. Expungement removes court and police records from public inspection.
Crimes that are eligible for “shielding” are:
Trespassing on Posted Property
Use/Possession with intent to use Drug Paraphernalia
Driving Without a License
Driving While Privilege is Cancelled, Suspended, Refused, or Revoked
Driving While Uninsured
A Prostitution Offense
A person may petition a court to shield no earlier than three (3) years after the person satisfies the sentence imposed for all convictions for which shielding is requested, including parole, probation, or mandatory supervision.
A person filing for shielding under the Maryland Second Chance Act is eligible for one (1) shielding over the person’s lifetime. Therefore, it is important for you to consider your options and make sure you understand the best course of action for you.
There are additional limitations on your ability to shield. For example, if you are pending a criminal charge, you are ineligible for shielding.