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Under The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Title 5 of the United States Code, section 552, any person has the right to request access to public records: criminal records, arrests & warrants, inmate records, vital records & more.

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How to Find and Research Maryland Criminal Records

Maryland criminal records include every type of crime committed in the state. This includes everything from simple ordinance violations to instances of petty thefts, burglary, assault to murder. You can find out every detail about the offenses if you go through the various resources available online.


Criminal Records Maintained By the Courts


The three main divisions of the Maryland judicial system, namely the circuit, district and the orphan courts, are predominantly responsible for handling the hearings of these criminal cases. All records can be retrieved from the online resources of the circuit and district courts. Public access to records of all court cases are governed by the laws of Maryland, specifically 16-1001 to 16-1011. The entire electronic records system has been in use since the 1st of October 2004.

Traffic violations as well as disobeying civil ordinances fall under the purview of the local district court. It is possible to check out the background of a person by accessing the data online. However, offenses not serious in nature may not be returned if you conduct an online search based on few facts. It would be particularly wise to visit your local courthouse and request the court clerk search all relevant documents. Access and copying of all criminal court hearings are allowed in exchange for a nominal fee. You will, however, be barred from removing any original documents from the court premises as they are considered to be the property of the court.

Twenty-three county courts in the state of Maryland handle criminal cases. Felonies as well as misdemeanors serious enough to be classified as Class A or B are normally treated as criminal acts. Going through the public website of Maryland will enable you to obtain information about them. All district as well as circuit court records are normally uploaded to the public access system at the end of each business day. The records are available even if the individual concerned escapes being convicted eventually.

Private Records


While you can be privy to almost all criminal records for the state of Maryland, there may be a very few instances where you may be find yourself unable to view a specific record. This happens when a particular record has been expunged or sealed due to different reasons. You will no longer be able to retrieve the relevant information by conducting a mere public resource search at only. You need to approach the concerned authorities with proper reasons for access in such cases.

Online Searches


Conducting a search over the Internet is the ideal way to do a quick background check while remaining anonymous yourself. Being too trusting, especially while recruiting new employees or domestic help, may prove to be a fatal mistake. A glance through the criminal records may help you cross-check the facts given on a prospective employees resume, thereby strengthening your security.

Keeping track of the most wanted criminals or sex offenders on the prowl will help you to take proper precautionary measures as well. Going over your tenant’s criminal record will help you to screen them effectively. Viewing criminal records online is an excellent way of checking out fraudulent companies. This necessary measure will help to protect you from investing in organizations known for their dubious nature.

Information Available in Criminal Records


The information that you will be able to retrieve usually contains the name of the offender as well as the last known address and case number. A detailed description of the criminal charges brought against him will be available too, as will the outcome of the case.

The information may vary just a little as it depends on the county court records. This is particularly true for old records where availability of a specific record may depend on the date of the actual deployment of the automated management system. The records are all updated and you will be able to view them almost instantaneously for all counties except Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George County. 

While every effort is made to maintain accuracy of the records, there may be a few exceptions where a change in decision may fail to show up online. In case you happen to come across any such incomplete or inaccurate information, you are free to get in touch with the authorities at the district or county courthouses. You can also visit them at  and  respectively.

Contacting the FBI state office by telephone at 410-265-8080 will also enable you to search for authentic criminal records pertaining to any existing Maryland criminal record. Visiting their office at 2600 Lord Baltimore Drive, Baltimore, MD 21244 may prove to be of additional help as you can then retrieve copies of important criminal case records as well.



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