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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33911
Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
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In 2002 I was charged with false statement to a state police

Customer Question

In 2002 I was charged with false statement to a state police officer. All of us who were charged were completely innocent and had absolutely nothing to do with the missing person the officer was looking for. In court 1 of our group talked to a public defender and he said he would represent us and just plea "nolo" and none of us will be convicted. Not realizing what that meant at the time well all plead "nolo" and went home with no futher precedings. Aside from getting this expunged, what are my options to have this removed from my record or changed to not guilty, or whatever else? I am trying to get into law enforcement in Florida and this is an automatic disqualifier for most agencies and training academies. This was in MD IN 2002. What are my options??
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Hi, My name is Philip. I am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.
I am sorry for this dilemma.
What you are describing? If this happened over 10 years ago, and you entered a voluntary plea (as opposed to going to a contested trial) it is highly unlikely you will do better than "expungement".
Expungement is a "sealing" of the record. It does not remove the record. Law enforcement and military would be able to see it. But no one else would. So for most instances, the conviction would disappear.
If you wanted to remove it all together? You would need to "reopen" the matter...allowing the state the opportunity to prosecute or drop the case.
After 13 years, not likely. In theory you cold hire a lawyer and file a motion with the court and ask them to reopen. But frankly, such a move would likely be a waste of time and money. There is a 30 day window in MD to file an appeal. You are well past that. So the appeals court could simply deny your request (since you did not file in time)
And frankly, even if you could convince the court to remand the case (send it back to the state prosecutor for action) it would not change much...they (the prosecutor) would likely dismiss. But the record of arrest would still remain. That will never go away.
Bot***** *****ne: since over 30 days have passed since the conviction it is highly unlikely you will be able to convince the appeals court to reopen this matter. But if you want to go this route, hire a MD attorney to file a motion with the MD appeals court.
This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you that there is a way to remove the record completely, but I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you...I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!
Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The case was NP status. Does that make any difference to my situation?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
No...not this many years later. The largest problem you face is the passage of time. It is simply too late to go back and change the plea you entered. Again, there is a 30 day window to file the appeal. Once that passes the appeals court can, and likely will, deny your request to reopen this matter. And if the goal is to change the record? You need to reopen the case.Again, I am sorry to be the person to bear this bad newsPlease let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.