Ferguson & Ferguson
Attorneys at Law
Can a Criminal Conviction be Expunged in Alabama?
No. Under the new Alabama expungement law only cases where the charges are dismissed (with or without prejudice), no billed by the Grand Jury, or where the person is acquitted after a trial can be expunged. In cases where the charges were dismissed without prejudice, special restrictions apply.
What Kinds of Cases can be Expunged?
Misdemeanors, violations, traffic citations and violations, and municipal ordinance violations can be expunged. Felony cases can be expunged with certain restrictions.
What Court Hears Expungeement Petition?
The Circuit Court in the county were the charges were originally filed has jurisdiction over an expungement petition.
What is the Cost of Filing an Expungement in Alabama?
There is a $300.00 administrative fee plus any cost of court or docket fee. There is a fee to get your fingerprints taken. There is a fee to get your certified criminal record from the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center.($25.00) There is a fee to get a certified copy of your case action summary sheet.
Where do you file an Expungement in Alabama?
Circuit Court of the county where you were charged.
What is the process for Filing an Expungement in Alabama?
A Petition for Expungement is prepared and filed with the Circuit Court in the jurisdiction where the charge was originally filed.
The Petition MUST include the following:
- A sworn statement made by the person seeking expungement under the penalty of perjury stating that the person has satisfied the requirements of the Alabama Expungement statute section of the Alabama Code.
- Must state whether you have previously applied for an expungement in any jurisdiction. Also, it should state whether an expungement has been previously granted to you.
- A certified record of arrest, disposition, or case action, action summary from the appropriate agency for the Court record seeking to be expunged
- A certified official criminal record obtained from the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center
- A specific description of the criminal charges from the record to be considered along with the agency or department where the arrest was made or where you were incarcerated or detained
Who can File to get an Expungement in Alabama?
You are eligible if you were charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense, a violation, a traffic violation, or a municipal ordinance violation. And, you would need to meet one of the following circumstances:
- Charge was dismissed with prejudice
- Charge has been no billed by a grand jury
- You were found not guilty of the charge
- Charge was dismissed without prejudice more than two years ago, has not been refilled, and you have not been convicted of any other felony, misdemeanor crime, any violation, or any traffic violation, excluding minor traffic violations during the previous two years.
Non Violent Felony Charges
Violent felonies cannot be expunged at this time. You are eligible if you were charged with a non-violent felony charge as long as you meet ONE of the following requirements:
- Charge is dismissed with prejudice
- Charge is no billed by a grand jury
- You were found not guilty of the charge
- Charge was dismissed after successful completion of a drug court program, mental health program, veteran’s court, or any other court approved deferred prosecution program after one year from successful completion of program
- Charge was dismissed without prejudice more than five years ago, has not been refiled, and you have not been convicted of any other felony or misdemeanor crime, any violation, or any traffic violation, excluding minor traffic violations, during the previous five years.
Is There a Waiting Period for Felony Cases Dismissed Without Prejudice?
Yes there is in Alabama. If a felony, and the case was dismissed without prejudice, you must wait five years from the time of the dismissal before you can apply for expungement. In addition, the charges cannot have been re-filed and you cannot have been convicted of any other criminal offense during the five year period (excluding minor traffic offenses).
Is There a Waiting Period for Felony Cases Dismissed with Prejudice?
Yes thee is in Alabama. If a felony, and the case is dismissed with prejudice, you must wait ninety days before you can apply for expungement under the Alabama expungement law.
Will There be a Court Hearing?
Only if the victim or prosecuting attorney objects to the expungement.
Do I need a Lawyer to file an Expungement?
Yes. The law is very complicated and an experienced attorney can decide if you qualify for expungement in Alabama. If you qualify, the attorney can handle all of the paperwork to make the process much easier.
Can I file for an Expungement if I know Longer live in Alabama?
How long does it take to get an Expungement in Alabama?
It will take 10-20 days to gather all information, obtain certified records, prepare the petition and file all documents with the Circuit Court where the charge occurred after getting your certified record from the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center. If there is no objection to the Petition for Expungement from the prosecuting authority or the victim within 45 days of the filing, then the Expungement will be granted. It is estimated it will require approximately 60-120 days from start to finish depending if an objection is filed.
What gets Expunged if the Court Approves the Petition?
Arrest records, photos related to booking or arrest, index references for public records searches and other documents or electronic files concerning the arrest or charge.
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If you need to file a petition for expungement in Decatur or Huntsville, Alabama, we are here to help. Call 256-534-3435 or 256-350-7200.