Educating rural counties about changes in the expungement law

Pro Bono Coordinator Emily Ford

Pro Bono Coordinator Emily Ford

HPRP’s Pro Bono Program continues to play an essential educating role on the changes to the expungement law that went into effect  last fall.  This is especially true for rural counties around Maryland.

For example, the State’s Attorney of Worcester County opposed one of our client’s expungements on the basis that he was later convicted of a crime. This part of the expungement law changed last October, and now a subsequent conviction would no longer block the client’s expungement.

Tracy White, the client’s HPRP pro bono attorney,  was proactive on this matter. She filed an answer to this objection and continually followed up with the State’s Attorney’s office to explain the law change. Two days before the hearing was set in Snow Hill, the State’s Attorney finally agreed to withdraw their opposition—and we received an order for this case last week!

This goes to show the importance of our advocates.  The client is currently living in substance abuse housing in Baltimore City. If he had filed this claim on his own,  he would not have been able to travel to Snow Hill on his meager disability income of $185 a month.  This type of advocacy helps HPRP’s clients and ensures that the most vulnerable are able to expunge newly eligible charges.

Emily Ford, HPRP’s Pro Bono Coordinator

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