ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Thousands of Maryland residents with criminal histories may get a second chance.

On Monday the General Assembly approved a bill that allows shielding certain non-violent offenses from the public eye.

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The measure that made it past the General Assembly would allow a person to request a shield for offenses in one jurisdiction, but it would not cross county lines if the person wants to hide additional convictions elsewhere.

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The final version is less sweeping in scope than the original bill, which would have allowed applying for a shield across county lines.

Under the rules, people can apply for shields if they have served their sentences, including probation and parole, and have maintained clean records for three years.

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