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Restoring your Second Amendment Rights in Maryland

Posted by Kathryn Batey | Mar 19, 2024 | 0 Comments

In Maryland, many criminal convictions, even misdemeanors, can deprive someone of their right to own, possess, or use a firearm. A conviction for ANY felony, ANY crime of violence, or ANY misdemeanor that carries a possible penalty of over two years will deprive someone of their ability to possess or use a firearm in the state. This includes (but is not limited to): 2nd Degree Assault, Resisting Arrest, Robbery, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree Burglary, 1st Degree Assault, any sexual offense, and Malicious Destruction of Property over $1000.  

I have one of these convictions. How can I restore my Second Amendment Rights? 

There is hope for those seeking to restore their rights and move forward with their lives! Expunging a criminal record can be a pivotal step towards reclaiming Second Amendment freedoms. Expungement is a legal process through which a criminal record is sealed or erased, essentially wiping the slate clean for individuals who have made mistakes in the past. In Maryland, expungement laws provide a mechanism for eligible individuals to clear their criminal records, offering them a fresh start and the opportunity to rebuild their lives.

The Expungement Process in Maryland:
While expungement offers a path to redemption, navigating the process can be complex, requiring careful attention to detail and adherence to legal procedures. In Maryland, eligibility for expungement depends on various factors, including the type of offense, the outcome of the case, and the individual's criminal history.

Whether or not your case is eligible for expungement can be complicated. Typically, if you received a "Probation Before Judgement" in your case, you can expunge the case 3 years after the Judge enters the PBJ. If you received a conviction, your case may still be eligible for expungement. A variety of misdemeanors, including drug possession crimes, property crimes, and misdemeanor theft crimes are all expungable 5 years after the completion of all probation, parole, and other sentencing requirements. Second Degree Assault, some felonies, and common law battery are expungable after 7 years, while 1st and 2nd degree burglary and felony theft are expungable after 10 years. If a crime has been marked "domestically related" you must wait 15 years for expungement. If your case was dismissed or if you won a trial, then you can file to expunge the record immediately. If your case was placed on the stet docket, you can file for an expungement as soon as the period of the STET has expired (3 years at the most). 

Expunging a case requires filing a signed expungement form with the details of your arrest, charge, and case disposition. A copy of the petition is sent to the State's Attorney's Office for Review. If the case is eligible for expungement and there are no objections, a judge will order the case expunged and all record will be destroyed within 60 days. If the case is not eligible, or there is a dispute, the judge may set the matter in for a hearing. 

I don't meet the criteria to have my case expunged, what else can I do? 

You may be able to request a modification of your sentence to make your case expungable, or at least speed up the process. Judges can reconsider sentences and grant probation's before judgement or even back date a PBJ to the date of the original sentencing. Similarly, you can request an early expungement from the court in certain circumstances. If you think you need to modify your sentence to make your case expungable, Contact Us Today to set up a free consultation. 

Expunged Cases and Maryland Gun Laws

To apply for a permit to lawfully wear/carry/transport a handgun in the state of Maryland, you must meet the following criteria: 

  1. Be over 18 years of age OR fall under an exception listed in Public Safety Article 5-133(d)
  2. Has not been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor for which a sentence of imprisonment for more than one year has been imposed; or convicted of a criminal offense for which you could have been sentenced to more than 2 years incarceration.
  3. Has not been convicted of a crime involving the possession, use, or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance;
  4. Is not presently an alcoholic, addict, or habitual user of a controlled dangerous substance unless under legitimate medical direction;
  5. Based on an investigation, has not exhibited a propensity for violence or instability that may reasonably render the person's possession of a handgun a danger to the person or others;
  6. As of October 1, 2013, has successfully completed the Maryland State Police approved firearms training course within 2 years prior to submitting the original or renewal application. 

 Expunging your record can help ensure you are eligible when you apply for your permit. 

 If you or someone you know is seeking to expunge a criminal record and regain Second Amendment rights in Maryland, don't hesitate to seek the guidance of a qualified legal professional who can navigate the complexities of the process and advocate for your rights. Give us a call today to see how we can help! 

About the Author

Kathryn Batey

Kathryn Batey, the owner and firm practioner, has spent the entirety of her legal career defending clients against the justice system.  Kathryn graduated from American University's Washington College of law in 2012 and went to work immediately for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, where...


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