Maryland Criminal Records Lookup

The following is for information purposes only

Maryland Criminal Records

A Maryland Criminal Record is an official document that displays a person's criminal history and also contains information gathered from other departments and organizations, such as courts, police departments, state correctional facilities, and sheriff's offices.

The state's numerous criminal justice agencies, notably the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (MDPSCS), the state's primary illegal record collector, create this document.

The Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) allows the general public to search the state's criminal records. Most of the time, anyone can look at or access these records unless the law prohibits it.

In Maryland, this criminal record includes:

  • A subject's personal information (name, date of birth, sex, nationality)
  • Physical descriptions (height, weight, eye and hair color, tattoos)
  • Mugshot
  • Fingerprints
  • Current and previous addresses
  • Any charges or criminal trial
  • Description of dispositions
  • Arrest history and report
  • Incarceration history
  • Conviction status

What Are the Different Types of Maryland Criminal Records?

Maryland Criminal Records vary depending on a subject's offense. Mostly, the main distinction is in the committed crimes. Here are Maryland's conviction records.


In Maryland, a felony record is a heinous offense punishable by death or a jail sentence. The state does not divide felony crimes into different categories. However, its criminal laws spell out the possible punishments for each felony.

Here are a few instances of felony records in Maryland:

First-degree Murder

This type of offense carries a life sentence in prison or a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Second-degree Rape by an Adult Against a Child Under 13

If someone is guilty of this crime, they could spend a minimum of 15 years and up in prison.

Drug Trafficking

This offense record can get you a minimum five-year jail sentence and a $100,000 fine.

First-degree Assault

The maximum sentence for this felony is 25 years in prison. It includes hurting someone seriously, strangling them, or attacking them with a gun.

Property theft Worth $1,500 to $25,000

This type of offense is convictable by up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine, and an order to return the item to the owner or pay the property's value.

Aggravated Animal Cruelty

If someone is guilty of this crime, they could spend up to three years in prison and pay a fine of $5,000 or both.

How long are felony records retained in Maryland? A felony in Maryland will stay on a person's record for the rest of their life.


According to Maryland's criminal law, a misdemeanor is a crime that is not prosecutable. Maryland, unlike most states, does not classify misdemeanors. Instead, punishments depend on what the law says about the crime.

To give you an idea of the kinds of crimes that are known misdemeanors in Maryland, here are some examples:

Using An Assault Weapon In A Violent Crime

This crime is punishable by at least five years in prison and up to 20 years.

A Second-degree Assault

A second-degree assault carries prison sentences of up to 10 years and a $2,500 fine.

Neglect Of Children

This misdemeanor carries up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

theft Of Goods Valued At $100-$1,500

If someone is guilty of this, they could go for six months in prison or pay a $500 fine. They will also restore the stolen property or reimburse the owner its worth.

How long does a Maryland misdemeanor stay on someone's record? Under the new law, many misdemeanor offenses, including the reasonably common crime of second-degree assault, can go through expungement. Unless someone re-offends, a person may remove most violations from their record after ten years.

Criminal Driving Violations

In Maryland, different traffic violations have distinct consequences and resolutions. Two traffic offenses exist in this state, the payable offense and the must-appear offense.


Payable offenses are minor traffic violations, and speeding is an example of this offense.

Payable traffic tickets have three options:

  • The offender can pay the fine.
  • The offender may enter a guilty plea with a statement.
  • The offender can ask for a hearing, plead not guilty, or ask for a trial.

In all three cases, the offender must answer within a month, or the Maryland Vehicle Administration may suspend their license.


Must-appear traffic violations are more severe, and the offender could be sent to jail if they don't show up. It includes DUIs, running and dodging police, leaving the scene of an accident, or both.

If an individual is guilty of this, they cannot just pay the fines. Instead, they will get a notice in the mail with the time and date they need to be in court.

Maryland also charges individuals with traffic infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies.

Traffic infraction

It is the most minor and severe type of violation. An example of this is speeding, outlined in the Maryland Transportation Article. For traffic violations, jail time is never a part of the punishment.

Traffic Misdemeanor

A traffic misdemeanor record violates Maryland's Transportation Article unless there is a civil penalty or the misdemeanor becomes a felony. People can go to prison for committing a misdemeanor. Most traffic offenses are known misdemeanors, leading to up to 60 days in jail and paying a $500 fine.

Traffic Felony

A felony is different from a misdemeanor because the possible jail time is longer. Some examples of traffic felonies are driving under the influence and killing someone or killing someone with a car.

How long does a criminal driving violation in Maryland stay on a person's record? According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), an offense is automatically deleted three years after a conviction if it meets the following criteria:

  • You don't have another traffic or criminal conviction in the past three years.
  • Your Maryland driver's license cannot be suspended or revoked.
  • You must not have been guilty of escaping the scene of an accident with damage or death, DUI, DWI, or comparable offenses.

If you meet these three conditions, the MVA will delete a driving offense from your record after three years.

But even if you didn't meet the requirements, there are times when you can still ask for what is called a "manual expungement".

Sexual Offenses

Maryland laws classify sex crimes into four degrees. Here are the four degrees of Maryland sex crime records:

Sexual Offense in the First Degree

The first-degree sexual offense is similar to first-degree rape but involves sexual activities rather than vaginal intercourse. Those accused of this offense utilize force, the threat of power, and a weapon.

A person who tries to commit a sexual offense in the first degree can be guilty of a felony that can lead to life in prison.

Sexual Offense in the Second Degree

Most accused of this felony used force or threatened force against a mentally or physically impaired individual. People who try to commit statutory rape of a minor can also be guilty of this crime and face 20 years in jail.

Sexual Offense in the Third Degree

Third-degree sexual assault is any sexual contact, short of rape, without the victim's consent while using a dangerous weapon. It also includes certain statutory rape charges and sexual contact with mentally disabled victims. Third-degree sexual offenses get a 10-year prison sentence.

Sexual Offense in the Fourth Degree

Most of the time, a fourth-degree sexual assault is a misdemeanor. It covers non-felonious sex offenses where the aggressor is in a position of authority, such as at work or school, or if the accused is four years older than an underage victim.

A person who violates this provision and has no prior sex offenses faces up to one year in prison or a $1,000 fine. A person with a previous sex crime conviction faces up to three years in jail or a $1,000 fine.

In Maryland, people who commit sexual offenses must register. The nature of the violation determines a person's registration status. In the registry, there are three tiers:

  • Tier I: Under this tier are convictions like possession of child pornography, sex trafficking, and fourth-degree sexual offenses. Offenders here must re-register every six months and be on the registry for 15 years.
  • Tier II: Convictions for disseminating child pornography and some third-degree sexual offenses necessitate registration on this tier. Offenders included here stay on the registry for 25 years.
  • Tier III: the most violent sex crimes, such as rape, sexual abuse of a minor, and first, second, or third-degree sexual felonies, are assigned to this tier. Offenders here must re-register every three months and be on the list for life.

How Do You Expunge Criminal Records in Maryland?

Maryland law allows for the "cleaning" of criminal records. However, minimal waiting requirements exist before filing for expungement, depending on how the case ended.

The state also allows automatic expungement, which means that automatic deletion of records relating to a charge stored by the police, court, or other state agency is possible. However, this is only likely after three years when a violation is acquitted, dismissed, not guilty, or nolle prosequi.

Automatic expungement is possible in the following charges:

  • Possession of fewer than 10 grams of marijuana
  • Serious traffic violations that require a court appearance

What Records Are Eligible For Expungement In Maryland?

Most of the time, the verdict or end of a case decides whether or not certain records are eligible for expungement. However, there are some situations where individuals usually can't get their record expunged, including:

  • If you received a Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) and are guilty of a new felony within three years
  • If you're facing criminal charges
  • If you're guilty during the waiting time
  • If you have a PBJ for certain alcohol-related driving offenses

How to Get a Record Expunged in Maryland?

You will submit a Petition to Expunge Records to the court that handled your case. If you settled your case in the last three years or less, you must also file a General Waiver and Release.

After receiving a copy of your expungement petition from the court, the State's Attorney has 30 days to object. The court may do so if the State's Attorney doesn't clear your record.

If the State's Attorney objects, the court will hold a hearing to assess if you are eligible for expungement.

After the judge signs the expungement order, you'll obtain a copy and a Certificate of Compliance from each agency required to remove their share of your record. 

What Are Maryland Inmate Records?

Maryland Inmate Records are official records that contain information about a person's present and, in some cases, previous inmate status.

Through the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (MDPSCS), the law lets people know if someone is in jail, as well as their commitment number and mailing address while they are in prison.

Public access to inmate records can reveal:

  • Inmate's identifying information and aliases
  • Height and weight
  • The date of birth
  • A social security number
  • DOC ID
  • Booking photo
  • Summary of sentence

What Are Maryland Arrest Records?

In Maryland, arrest records include an official summary of a person's arrest history and show if a person has been arrested, questioned, detained, or detained.

Maryland issues arrest warrants for many reasons. A judge can provide an arrest warrant if a prosecution offers enough evidence. However, even without a warrant, the State Police can arrest someone for committing a crime. Most of the time, this happens when the committed crime is in front of an officer.

The arrest process in Maryland includes booking, where the police get information from the arrestee, transport them to the commissioner, and procure their possible release.

If you want to obtain arrest records in the state, Maryland also publicizes these records. You can conduct an arrest search at either the state or county level. However, most arrest searches cost money, depending on which agency is in charge of the records.

Public arrest records are usually created and maintained by the Maryland State Police Department at the state level. The county sheriff or police chief takes care of them locally.

Maryland Arrest Records list the following:

  • Personal details (name, age, date of birth, sex)
  • Fingerprint
  • Arrest time, place, and date
  • Officer in charge's name
  • The person who issued the arrest warrant
  • Suspect's alleged crime

How Do You Find Maryland Criminal Records?

There are reasons why people want to look up a criminal record. But in general, employers and landlords often do background checks on applicants.

If you're a private employer who wishes to check a potential employee's background, you must submit a Private Party Petition Packet to the CJIS Authorization Administrator. However, if you are a general public member, you can request official criminal records from the MDPSCS.

You must follow the MDPSCS process for individual background checks when making a request which includes:

  • Get the person's signed consent, name, birthday, and Social Security number.
  • You and the person must get live fingerprint scans.
  • Send the card, request, and fee to the records manager.