Free Maryland Criminal & Arrest Record Search (All MD Counties)

Free Maryland Arrest Records & Criminal Records Search
Access Maryland Records: background checks, warrants, probation and parole, court records, and all criminal and arrest records.

Conduct a free search of Maryland criminal records, including arrest records, in all MD counties through official agencies today.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Maryland Public Information Act (PIA) state certain records must be made public. However, the process to obtain these records can prove difficult unless someone knows what they’re looking for, and where to look.

While these statutes make most criminal records public and allow people to gain insight into a friend, colleague, loved one, or potential employee, there are countless types of records and associated agencies that host these records, and each has its own process for accessing them.

This resource simplifies this process by providing comprehensive resources that detail how to access Maryland criminal history records.

The remainder of this article will show searchers how to:

  • See if someone was arrested, the reason for detainment, view their mugshots and figure out how to contact and bail them out
  • Determine if someone has a criminal history, a warrant out for their arrest, is on probation or parole or is a registered sex offender
  • Seal and expunge eligible criminal records
  • Find inmates in prison — both state and federal prisons
  • Perform a background check for personal or professional uses

In addition, readers will learn more about laws and statutes surrounding the use of criminal records in professional settings to ensure they’re not discriminated against.

Availability of Criminal & Arrest Records in Maryland

According to the state’s Public Information Act (PIA), citizens can access various Maryland public records, such as Maryland arrest records and criminal proceedings, without any costs.1

It is important to note that there are some exceptions to this rule, such as juvenile delinquency, reports concerning disabled adults, and records that have been sealed or expunged.2 These records are only available to the public if a court order is given or any special provisions exist.

A list of what the government records can the public access and showing some exceptions that needs court order such as adoption, guardianship terminating parental rights, juvenile delinquency, etc.
Source: Maryland Courts3

Furthermore, since February 2020, Maryland law implemented the Ban the Box law, which prohibits employers with 15 or more full-time employees from requiring applicants to disclose if they have a criminal record or any criminal accusations.4 This applies until the first in-person interview and was implemented to protect individuals against discrimination.

Differences Between Maryland Criminal Records vs Arrest Records

While criminal records and arrest records can typically be used interchangeably, there are some notable differences to be aware of. A Nebraska arrest report is an indication that there was a suspension that someone broke the law, but it is not definitive proof because the individual has yet to be found guilty in court.

On the other hand, a criminal record will show more details, including the arrest, details of the crime, and what charges were filed, as well as the conclusion of the case, meaning if charges were dropped or the case was acquitted, if the individual was convicted, and any sentencing information.

All in all, Maryland criminal records will show significantly more information compared to Maryland arrest records, including information from the outcome of the case and everything in between. While an arrest record will only show the arrest information, which is not 100% proof that the individual is guilty of the crime.

How To Find Out if Someone Was Arrested Recently & the Reason Why (Free MD Arrest Record Search)

For recent arrest reports and to learn why someone was detained in Maryland, searchers can look through the tables below, which provide the county sheriff’s office inmate roasters, city jail inmate rosters and phone numbers to call the local law enforcement agency or jail.

A screenshot of the website of Maryland Judiciary where people can search for all criminal, civil, traffic and civil citation records, with search criteria for court type, full name, party type, case type, court system, county and filing date.
Source: Maryland Judiciary5

As a last resort, someone can utilize the Maryland Judiciary, which has an easy-to-use website to search for all criminal, civil, traffic, and civil citation records that have originated within the District Court and Circuit Courts.5 It is important to note that this online database may not be suited for recent arrests as it’s updated slower than the methods below.

How To Find Arrest Records & Mugshots in Maryland Through County Sheriffs’ Inmate Rosters

When looking for Maryland arrest records and arrest reports in differing counties, some jurisdictions have a dedicated inmate search tool directly through their website that will include mugshots, arrests, and personal information.

A screenshot from the Montgomery County Data website showing a list of daily arrests, with information such as full name, age, street address, city, and state.
Source: Montgomery County Data6

Below is a breakdown of all of the six different counties in Maryland that have a direct link to their inmate search feature and the phone number to contact the jail and sheriff’s office:

County Inmate Search Tool or Contact Page County Jail or Sheriff’s Office Phone Number Shows Mugshots?
Allegany County Sheriff’s Office: 301-777-1585
Detention Center: 301-729-8540
Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office: 410-222-1571
Detention Center: 410-222-7374
X
Garrett County Sheriff’s Office: 301-334-1911
Detention Center: 301-334-5055
Harford County Sheriff’s Office: 410-838-6600
Detention Center: 410-638-3140
X
Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office: 240-777-7000
Inmate Records: 240-777-9730
Detention Center: 240-777-9960
X
Somerset County Sheriff’s Office: 410-651-9225
Detention Center: 410-651-9223
St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office: 301-475-8008
Detention Center: 301-475-4200 ext, 3200

Sixteen of the counties in Maryland do not publish inmate lists or information on their website. The following county sheriff’s offices do not publish inmate lists on the website:

To find inmate information at one of these facilities, someone must contact the sheriff’s office or detention center or utilize the VineLink website to search the entire state of Maryland. Check out the tutorial on tracking down Maryland inmate details for more guidance and insight.

How To Look Up Arrest Records Created by Local Police Departments Who Operate City Jails (MD)

Searching for arrests in city jails can be useful because individuals can be held here for 24 hours or more before being transferred to a county jail. Individuals arrested by Maryland law enforcement are taken to the nearest county detention facility while they await trial or bond.

For example, someone arrested in Germantown, Maryland, would be taken to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility, which accepts inmates arrested by Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office deputies, the Germantown Police Department, and federal agencies.

While county jails cover a wider area and are most prevalent in Maryland, one city jail in Maryland is located in the largest city in Maryland and is the Baltimore City Correctional Center. The best way to find an inmate and information about a city jail is as follows:

  1. To search for information on the city jail in Maryland, navigate to this website: Baltimore City Correctional Center.
  2. Directly on the homepage, the address and phone number should be present. Sometimes it’s near the bottom of the page or under the tab called “Contact us.”
  3. While some websites will have a clear drop-down bar with different options to navigate throughout the website, others will also have a search bar near the top to make the search process easier.

If applicable, search for “arrest records” or “inmate locator” to bring up those pages. If nothing populates, the county or city jail may not publish that information online, and it would be best to default to calling the phone number.

Another option that would help simplify the process of trying to find out who’s in jail in Maryland is employing the services of a bail bondsman, an expert and helpful people finder. This can be a helpful option because a bondsman can help locate the arrested individual and potentially help get the person released on bail.

How To Go About Contacting & Bailing Out Someone in Jail (Maryland)

Maryland’s correctional facility locator has important information for visiting, and each facility has different rules and requirements for visits, so it’s important to contact each one directly for that information.

A screenshot from the Maryland Department of Public Safety showing the detention and correctional facilities in-person visit request links.
Source: Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services7

To schedule an in-person visitation, please contact the facility using the assigned email address or phone number below. If you have any questions, please contact the Maryland DPSCS COVID-19 Family Hotline at 410-724-5722 or look at the Maryland inmate visitation services page.

The following images provide each facility’s name, visitation hours, and contact information:

First part of the table showing Maryland's correctional facilities, the first column shows the facility names, second column is for the visiting hours, third column shows contact details, and the last column shows other important information.

The second part of the table that presents information on Maryland's correctional facilities, including details such as visiting hours showing dates and times, contact details showing phone numbers and email addresses, and other significant information.

The last part of the table that displays essential data about Maryland's correctional facilities, such as North Branch correctional institution, Patuxent institution, Roxbury correctional institution, Southern Maryland pre-release unit, and Western correctional institution, with corresponding visitation hours, contact details and other important information.

Information on posting bond for someone can be obtained by calling the county jail or sheriff’s office or hiring a bail bondsman to help with the process.

How To Access Maryland Criminal Records

Criminal records can be found through various public record repositories but in most cases, checking with county and state courts will yield the quickest and most comprehensive results.

The Clerk’s Office for each county court and the process to check the Maryland Judiciary site is listed below but there is still other places to check so information on warrants, prisons records, background checks and the sex offender registry will follow.

How To Look Up Maryland Criminal Records Using the Clerk of Court

Each county in Maryland has its own Clerk’s Office that houses a variety of older records, including criminal records. Calling or going to the Clerk’s Office can be helpful to ensure the office has the records before visiting them to obtain someone’s criminal record details.

None of the counties in Maryland have an online criminal record search database and instead link to the state-wide search through the Maryland Judiciary. If a case isn’t found through the case search feature described in the next section, then contacting the Clerk’s office would be the next best thing to do.

Check the table below for a list of the different Clerk’s Offices by county, address, and phone number:

County Courts That Host Criminal Records Courthouse Address Phone Number
Allegany County Clerk’s Office 30 Washington Street,
Cumberland, MD 21502
301-777-5923
Anne Arundel County Clerk of Court 8 Church Circle
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-222-1420 (a case number is required when calling)
Baltimore City Clerk’s Office Mitchell Courthouse 2nd Floor, Room 200
100 N Calvert St
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-333-3750
Baltimore County Clerk’s Office 401 Bosley Avenue, 2nd Floor
Towson, MD 21204
410-887-2601
Calvert County Clerk’s Office 175 Main Street
Prince Frederick, MD 20678
410-535-1600
Caroline County Clerk of Court 207 S. Third Street
Denton, MD 21629
410-819-4600
Carroll County Clerk’s Office 55 N. Court Street
Westminster, MD 21157
410-386-8710
Cecil County Clerk’s Office 129 E. Main Street
Elkton, MD 21921
410-996-1021
Charles County Clerk’s Office 200 Charles Street
La Plata, MD 20646
301-932-3201
Dorchester County Clerk’s Office 206 High Street
Cambridge, MD 21613
410-228-0481
Frederick County Clerk’s Office 100 W. Patrick Street
Frederick, MD 21701
301-600-1976
Garrett County Clerk’s Office 203 S. 4th Street, Room 109
Oakland, Maryland 21550
301-334-1937
Harford County Clerk’s Office 20 West Courtland Street
Bel Air, MD 21014
410-838-4952
Howard County Clerk’s Office 9250 Judicial Way
Ellicott City, MD 21043
410-313-2111
Kent County Clerk’s Office 103 N. Cross Street
Chestertown, MD 21620
410-778-7460
Montgomery County Clerk’s Office North Tower 1st Floor, Room 1260
191 East Jefferson Street
Rockville, MD 20850
240-777-9440
Prince George’s County Clerk’s Office 14735 Main Street Suite 173B
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
301-298-4000
Queen Anne’s County Clerk’s Office 120 Broadway Suite #1
Centreville, MD 21617
410-819-4000
St. Mary’s County Clerk’s Office 23110 Leonard Hall Drive
Leonardtown, MD 20650
301-880-2700
Somerset County Clerk’s Office 30512 Prince William Street
Princess Anne, MD 21853
410-845-4840
Talbot County Clerk’s Office 11 North Washington Street, Suite 16
Easton, MD 21601
410-822-2611
Washington County Clerk’s Office 24 Summit Avenue
Hagerstown, MD 21740
301-733-8660
Wicomico County Clerk’s Office 101 North Division Street, Room 105
Salisbury, MD 21801
410-543-6551
Worcester County Clerk’s Office One West Market Street, Room 104
Snow Hill, MD 21863
410-632-5500

While contacting or going to the county Clerk’s Office can help find older criminal records, searching the state-wide Maryland Judiciary Case Search may still be a great first option because that database includes recent arrests and older criminal records.

How To Run a Statewide Criminal Record Search in MD via the Maryland Judiciary Case Search

The broadest way to determine if someone is in a Maryland jail or has a criminal history is to use the statewide criminal record search feature through the Maryland Judiciary Case Search. This case search is also a great and free way to help someone figure if they were charged with a crime after an encounter with law enforcement.

To search for an individual, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Maryland Judiciary Case Search and after reading the disclaimer, check the box and click “I Agree” to open the search platform.
  2. Search by name or by case number. Most searches will probably be by name.
  3. Select the court type.
    a. Trial: The default option is trial courts, which will encompass most criminal records, except those that have been appealed.
    b. Appellate: This court focuses on reviewing appeals.
  4. Enter the name. When entering the name, it’s possible to search for a partial name by inserting at least the first character of the last name followed by the % symbol. For example, J%. The first name is not required as part of the search but can also be searched partially.
  5. Choose the type of search:
    a. All Case Types
    b. Civil
    c. Criminal
    d. Traffic
    e. Civil Citation
  6. This search can be narrowed down by adding the specific county the crime took place, but the default option is to search all counties.
  7. For the date, the exact date or date range can be searched. Enter the date and then click search.
  8. From there, scroll through the search results to see the case number, name, date of birth, court, filing date, and case status.
A screenshot from the Maryland Judiciary case search results after running a statewide criminal record search, showing information such as party type, court, case type, case status, filing date, and case caption, presented in a table form.
Source: Maryland Judiciary5

The central location to find Maryland criminal records is the Maryland State Archives, which contains various records from all 24 counties in Maryland.

After the modern District Court System was established in 1971, this became the host for public criminal records in Maryland. Before then, each county had a different method of storing its records, and the records went to various places.

Additionally, a centralized records management center is responsible for the many different records in Maryland Annapolis known as the District Court Record Center.8 It’s important to know that this center does not directly work with individuals; instead, someone must contact the Maryland State Archives or the nearest district court to access their records.

How To Obtain a Copy of Your Own Criminal Records in MD

Retrieving a copy of criminal records electronically can be done on the Maryland Judiciary Case Search website. This website is the primary way most Maryland public search for records and obtains information.

It is important to note that Case Search no longer displays information for any criminal charge that resulted in dismissal, acquittal, not guilty, a formal notice of abandonment, also known as “nolle prosequi.” They also do not include District Court cases involving marijuana from October 1, 2014, or earlier. While these records are not available on Case Search, the public can still access them through the courthouse.

If someone has an interest in obtaining paper records, there is a different process that takes place and fees that are involved. While court records are kept at the courthouse where the case took place, anyone can view records in person at the clerk’s office. These can be located with the case number or the names of the individuals involved. It’s recommended to call ahead to ensure the office has the records.

To obtain a criminal background check with physical copies of records, contact the Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services at their website or phone number +1-888-795-0011. City law enforcement and county sheriff’s officers can also provide Maryland criminal records.

How To Determine if Someone Is on Probation or Parole in Maryland

The Maryland Division of Parole & Probation ensures offenders on parole and probation adhere to their requirements. It has recently expanded its focus to enhance community safety by supervising known violent offenders.9 Whether or not someone is on probation (minor offenses) or parole (major offenses) this is information the public can find.10

Probation is usually given to those offenders accused of misdemeanors or low-level crimes who have just been released from jail. In contrast, parole is seen as an early release from prison and given to convicted felons after completing some time in prison. In Maryland, someone must serve at least 50% of their sentence for violent offenders before possible parole.11

While there is no specific parolee database, probation search, or online directory, someone can search Maryland’s Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) service, which can provide custody status updates.

Unfortunately, once someone is released or on probation or parole, the update shows “closed.” And it is instead recommended to contact the prior facility the inmate was at, but this resource could be a good starting point and will allow access to the case number. Remember that a free account needs to be created to see the full case number and birth date.

A screenshot from the Federal Bureau of Prison website showing the find an inmate search criteria page, with search bars for first, middle, and last names, race, sex and age.
Source: Federal Bureau of Prisons12

Furthermore, the Federal Bureau of Prisons does have an online database for information about federal inmates released after 1982 and will show the date the inmate was released. For this search, both first and last names are required. It is important to note that this search will only show inmates federally charged and will not specifically state whether the inmate was on probation or parole and only shows when they were released.

Additional ways to find parole or probation information would be to check criminal records through the specific county courthouse for past offenses, run a personal background check on the individual, or by calling the probation or parole offices which can easily be found by searching “parole and probation office [county] Maryland.”

It’s also valuable to know that the Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services has an Office of Victim Services through the Division of Parole and Probation. This service focuses on assisting the victims of crimes whose offenders are in jail or on parole or probation.

They assist through filling protective orders, helping write Victim Impact Statements, assisting through court hearings, and recommending counseling or other valuable services. For further information, contact the director at 410-585-3340 or email [email protected].

Review the instructions for finding Maryland probationer details or check out the MD parolee search tutorial for more guidance on finding supervised offender records throughout the state.

How To Seal or Expunge Criminal Records in Maryland (Erase or Remove Your Criminal Record)

It’s possible to request to seal or expunge a criminal record in Maryland by oneself or obtain legal aid from an attorney or lawyer to help simplify the process. A criminal record can be expunged or removed from court and law enforcement records if the case meets certain requirements.

In Maryland, for cases where all charges brought against someone ended with an acquittal, not guilty, dismissal, or nolle prosequi and happened on October 1, 2021, or later, the court automatically expunges the case after three years. There is a form someone can fill out for free to request expungement earlier, and there is no fee. For guilty charges, there is a different form to fill out, and a $30 fee is required.

A screenshot from the Maryland Courts showing a petition for expungement of records form for acquittal, dismissal, probation before judgement, nolle prosequi, stet, not criminally responsible, or transfer to juvenile disposition.
Source: Maryland Courts13

Another option someone has is shielding or sealing records. This differs from expungement because shielding keeps all information in a case private from public inspection, whereas expungement will only remove court and police records. It does not remove the criminal record, it just removes it from the public view, but law enforcement officers and other agencies may still be able to view the information.

The court only grants one shielding over your lifetime, and someone must wait three years after completing all their sentences, including parole or probation. There is no fee to request shielding in Maryland. Still, certain requirements must be met, including the conviction on the list of approved convictions eligible for shielding and not being convicted of a new crime within the 3-year waiting period.

The shielding request of eligible criminal records will be done at the Circuit or District Court, where the case is finished. The Maryland Attorney’s Office and victims have 30 days to file an objection or provide additional information relevant to the shielding.14 After 30 days, the judge will deny or approve the shielding request.

How To Search for Someone in a Maryland State Prison or Federal Penitentiary

Utilizing the Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services Division of Correction is an effective way to find someone in Maryland state prisons.

This public records repository will not show what someone was arrested for and is also not a mugshot database. Still, the information provided shows the DOC ID, date of birth, and what facility the individual is held in. It is recommended to contact the specific facility for more information.

A screenshot from the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services showing the inmate locator page to search for an existing offender, with search bars for first name and last name.
Source: Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services15

The Bureau of Prison website will also allow a nationwide search of a federally charged inmate in federal prison by searching with the inmate number or finding by first and last name (both names are required). Additionally, it’s possible to see historical data through the Bureau of Prison.

How To Obtain Information on Anybody Wanted in Maryland: MD Arrest Warrant Search

Federal case criminal records can be accessed through PACER, and all federal warrants are stored in the U.S. Marshal’s Service Warrant Information System (WIN).

Still, unfortunately, that search is not available to the public. So to answer the question of how someone knows there is a warrant out for their arrest, it may be most helpful to turn to specific counties in Maryland.

For example, Anne Arundel County’s online warrant database is updated weekly and contains unserved county warrants active for six months or longer. This database has the warrant number, the individual’s name and age, the charge, and the last known address.

A screenshot from the Anne Arundel County showing the Sheriff's office active warrants list with information such as warrant number, name, age, charge, last known address, city and zip code.
Source: Anne Arundel County Maryland16

Check the links and numbers below to find out if someone has a warrant in a nearby county. If a given county isn’t shown, search “[County Name] warrant search” and navigate to the official county website for a given region. There will typically be a warrant option in the menu that can be searched online, but if not, navigate to the contact page to call the county sheriff’s office.

Here is a list of Maryland counties that have an online warrant database system:

While the above counties publish their warrant information, it’s also possible to contact the county sheriff’s office to determine if there is an outstanding warrant. Below is a list of all the counties in Maryland and their warrant department phone number, if applicable, or their sheriff’s office number:

Look through the Maryland warrant information lookup overview for further assistance.

Maryland Background Checks Explained

Every state-level (level 1) background check within Maryland will go through the Maryland Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) hosted by the Department of Public and Correctional Services.

The process and purpose may vary slightly for each organization, so check out the table below for a breakdown of Maryland’s official background check agencies. The FAQ for the CJIS provides further details on background check timelines, costs, forms, and processes.

Level 2 background checks will go through the FBI for a full rap sheet report.

The following is a guide to various agencies that require a background check in Maryland, the reason for the screenings, and a link to the most relevant background check page that details the submission process for each agency:

Maryland Agency That Requires Background Checks
Screening Reasons
Maryland Department of Health
  • Medical and surgical professionals
  • X-Ray Technicians
  • Surgical Assistants
  • Physical Therapists
Maryland Board of Nursing
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Aids
Department of Consumer Protection
  • Accountants
  • Amusement facilities
  • Architects
  • Bedding and furniture manufacturing
  • Charitable solicitors
  • Community association managers
  • Controlled substance practitioners
  • Crane operators
  • Pharmacists
  • Cosmetologists
  • Electrical engineers
  • Elevator workers
  • E-cigarette vendors
  • Fire protection
  • Food and beverage workers
  • Glaziers
  • Health clubs and martial arts studios
  • Health product dealers
  • HVAC
  • Hemp manufacturing
  • Home inspection workers
  • General contractors
  • Interior designers
  • Land surveys
  • Liquor vendors
  • Landscapers
  • Lottery agents
  • Locksmiths
  • Medical marijuana professionals
  • Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians
  • Plumbers
  • Public service technicians
  • Real estate workers
  • Telecommunication technicians
Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulations
  • Architects
  • Barbers
  • Certified Interior Designers
  • Certified Public Accountants
  • Cosmetologists
  • Electricians
  • Foresters
  • Home Improvement
  • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation and Refrigeration Contractors
  • Individual Tax Preparers
  • Landscape Architects
  • Land Surveyors
  • Pilots
  • Plumbing
  • Professional Engineers
  • Real Estate Appraisers, Appraisal Management Companies and Home Inspectors
  • Real Estate Commission
  • Secondhand Precious Metal Objects Dealers and Pawnbrokers
  • Stationary Engineers
  • Athlete Agents
  • Athletic Commission
  • Cemetery Oversight
  • Elevator Safety Review Board
  • Locksmiths
  • Oil and Gas Land Professionals
Department of Education
  • School administrators
  • Teachers
  • Teacher assistants
  • Volunteers
  • Support Staff
  • Bus drivers
  • Housekeeping staff
Department of Human Services
  • Social workers
  • Foster families
  • Child care workers
  • Adult care facility workers
  • Volunteers
  • Adoptive parents

Additionally, background checks for personal uses can be performed by searching public records seen in this guide, and third-party sites can also assist in checking records across multiple states and counties at once. However, personal background checks can not be used to make decisions involving employment, housing, or insurance, and these records can not be used to stalk, harass, or intimidate others.

How To Look Up Someone on the Maryland Sex Offender Registry

Maryland has a comprehensive sex offender registry which can be obtained directly through the Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services website.

A screenshot from the Maryland Department of public safety and correctional services showing the offender search in your area criteria box page, with search bars for address, city, and zip code.
Source: Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services17
  1. From the homepage of the Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services website, input into the search bar “sex offender registry” and hit search, then click on the first option, which should be the sex offender registry.
  2. After agreeing to the disclaimer, the Maryland official sex offender registry will open.
  3. There are a few different options on how to search for an offender.
    1. In Your Area: This will be used to see if there are any sex offenders near your home, business, or school. Enter the desired address, city, state, and zip code.
    2. Name: This search is used to see registered offenders by name. A partial name can be used, and the first letter can be entered if the name is unsure. For example, only search “B” in the last name, and all offenders with a last name starting with B will be brought up. The search will bring up the photo and address of each offender.
    3. City: To locate offenders in an entire city, enter the desired city here.
    4. Non-Compliant: To view a list of those who have not updated their address and personal information
  4. The results will show the individual’s name, mugshot, address, and tier.
    1. Tier 1: These individuals will be on the registry for 15 years.
    2. Tier 2: On the registry for 25 years.
    3. Tier 3: These individuals have committed the worst sex crimes, meaning they must be on the sex offender felony registry for life.
A screenshot from the National Sex Offender Registry website showing the offender search criteria page with search bars for full names, county, city/town, and zip codes.
Source: National Sex Offender Registry18

For a larger overview, there is also the option to search the national sex offender registry through the United States Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender Public website.

An Overview of Maryland Laws & Statutes on Criminal & Arrest Records

Criminal records searches must comply with state and federal laws that dictate what is released, how it’s released, and who can view the information.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that protects information collected by reporting agencies such as credit bureaus, tenant screenings, and medical information companies.19 Additionally, each individual has the right to know what information is in the report and be told if something causes a denial.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is crucial in ensuring all background checks are the same for each individual and not being used in a discriminatory manner. Reports can be made to the commission if someone feels a report has been used incorrectly to discriminate against them. Furthermore, the EECO provides background check guidance to employers and anti-discrimination law enforcement.

In addition to following federal laws, a few Maryland-specific laws are related to criminal and arrest records.

The Maryland Security & Privacy Act & the Code of Maryland Annotated Regulations (COMAR) prevent someone from requesting a background check on another individual without prior authorization.

Maryland’s Public Information Act (PIA) allows citizens to access public records such as criminal and arrests without unnecessary costs or delay. Most records can be accessed for free online or locally and printed out for a small fee.

To further EEOC and prevent discrimination as part of the hiring and interview process, Maryland adopted the Ban the Box law effective February 29, 2020. Ban the Box prevents employers from requiring applicants to disclose a criminal record until the first in-person interview. It is important to note that there are some exceptions to the ban-the-box law.

Individuals applying for certain positions in health care, education, and those providing care to minors or vulnerable individuals may have to disclose their criminal record background immediately.

To wrap things up, official Maryland criminal records can be found through the county courts and the Maryland Judiciary case search portal.

Maryland arrest records, including warrants, can be found through the county sheriff’s office and local police departments.

Probation and parole information can be located via the Maryland Division of Parole & Probation. Lastly, background checks can be performed with the Department of Public & Correctional Services.


References

1Maryland Attorney General. (2023). Maryland Public Information Act. Anthony G. Brown. <https://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/Pages/OpenGov/pia.aspx>

2Maryland Courts. (2023). Access to Court Records. Maryland Judiciary. <https://www.courts.state.md.us/legalhelp/courtrecords>

3Maryland Courts. (n.d.). Maryland Courts. Retrieved May 19, 2023 <https://www.courts.state.md.us/>

4Maryland Department of Labor. (2023). Maryland Criminal Record Screening Complaint (Ban the Box) – Employment Standards Service (ESS). Maryland. <https://www.dllr.state.md.us/labor/wages/esscrimscreen.shtml>

5Maryland Judiciary. (2023). Maryland Judiciary Case Search Criteria. Search Criteria. <https://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/casesearch/processDisclaimer.jis>

6Montgomery County Data. Accessed 24 May 2023. <https://data.montgomerycountymd.gov/widgets/xhwt-7h2h>

7Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. (n.d.). Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Retrieved May 19, 2023 <https://dpscs.maryland.gov/>

8Maryland State Archives. (2023). Criminal Records Information and Access. <http://guide.msa.maryland.gov/pages/viewer.aspx?page=criminal>

9Maryland.gov. (2023). Division of Parole & Probation. Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. <https://dpscs.maryland.gov/parole_and_probation/>

10Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners. (2021). What is the difference between Parole and Probation? NV.gov. <https://parole.nv.gov/FAQs/FAQ_answers/What_is_the_difference_between_Parole_and_Probation_/>

11U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs. (1999). Truth in Sentencing in State Prisons. Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report. <https://bjs.ojp.gov/content/pub/pdf/tssp.pdf>

12Federal Bureau of Prisons. (n.d.). Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved May 19, 2023 <https://www.bop.gov/>

13Maryland Courts. Accessed 24 May 2023. <https://www.mdcourts.gov/sites/default/files/court-forms/courtforms/joint/ccdccr072A.pdf/ccdccr072A.pdf>

14Maryland Judiciary. (2021). GUIDE FOR SHIELDING OF MARYLAND SECOND CHANCE ACT RECORDS. (Criminal Procedure §§ 10-301 through 10-306). <https://www.mdcourts.gov/sites/default/files/import/courtforms/joint/ccdccr148a.pdf>

15Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS). Accessed 24 May 2023. <https://dpscs.maryland.gov/services/inmate-locator.shtml>

16Anne Arundel County. (n.d.). Anne Arundel County. Retrieved May 19, 2023 <https://www.aacounty.org/>

17Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. (n.d.). Sex Offender Registry Disclamer. Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Retrieved May 19, 2023 <https://sheriffalerts.com/>

18National Sex Offender Registry. Accessed 24 May 2023. <https://www.nsopw.gov/en/Search/Results>

19Federal Trade Commission. (2023). Fair Credit Reporting Act. Statues. <https://www.ftc.gov/legal-library/browse/statutes/fair-credit-reporting-act>