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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27688
Experience:  Criminal Justice Degree, JD with Criminal Law Concentration. Worked for the DA and U.S. Attorney.
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How do I prevent a criminal charge transit violation from

Customer Question

how do I prevent a criminal charge for a transit violation from being on my record
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today.
What state are you in?
What violation are you accused of committing?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the state of Maryland. Failure to exhibit proof of payment on transit (the public traing)
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
This is what's called a "nuisance crime." As long as you do not have any other criminal convictions within the next three years, you can apply to have it expunged. A conviction doesn't count traffic violations, like speeding tickets. The offense will show up on your record for the next three years (if you're convicted), but you can have it removed after that. Here is more information.
http://www.courts.state.md.us/district/forms/criminal/dccr072a.pdf
That three year period is set, so the only way to avoid having the ticket show on your record at all would be to appear in court and successfully defend it. It's possible that if the officer who ticketed you doesn't appear at the hearing, you can have the ticket dismissed, but it doesn't happen all that often.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I have already sent in a check for the fee, would it be wise to just cancel the check. This criminal record can prevent me from being employable in the future.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Cancelling the check will just make everything worse. That's not the solution. If the check bounces, they'll charge you additional fees and interest. That doesn't negate the plea that you filed.
This is a *very* minor offense. It's one of the most minor offenses a person can have other than a speeding ticket. So it honestly won't prevent most people from getting a job, although it depends on your line of work. Usually, if an employer asks about something like this, the real danger is not disclosing it. But many employers only ask about felonies or serious/violent crimes and this is neither.
What you can do is file a Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea and submit it to the court where you mailed the ticket. It's best to have a local attorney draft that for you, because they're very rarely granted. The burden of proof is on you to show that you did not voluntarily plead guilty, which can be tough. But if you're in an industry where you can't get a job with any misdemeanors on your record, it may be worth the cost of a lawyer who can help. Many will charge a flat rate, not an hourly fee, which can help.

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