Expungement Faqs

8EXPUNGEMENT ATTORNEYS IN DECATUR AND HUNTSVILLE ALABAMA

Attorney

Decatur Expungement Lawyer

What is an expungement in Alabama?

Expungement in Alabama is a process by which a person’s criminal records are treated as if they no longer exist. If granted, all records of the arrest are taken out of the legal system. All court and arrest records are all deleted out of the court records, jail and federal database,
What is Alabama’s New 2021 Expungement Law

The Alabama legislature and Governor Ivey have finally passed an expungement bill that will allow certain persons convicted of non-violent crimes to have their records wiped clean. This law, which we have pushed for for years will soon allow people with long-ago convictions for certain low-level crimes to apply to have their records wiped clean. The Alabama Legislature approved an expanded expungement bill that was signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey this week. The bill is called the Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment and Eliminate Recidivism Act – or the REDEEMER Act. It would allow people with certain nonviolent misdemeanor convictions and felonies to apply to have their records expunged if they have met certain conditions. It will help people who made a mistake in their past move forward by removing their convictions from public records. Thereby making them much more employable. It is similar to the laws in other states that wipe away misdemeanor convictions after a person serves their time or probation. Its goal is to help people who made mistakes in the past to put it behind them. Thereby making them more employable and capable of taking care of themselves, their families and contribute to to society.
Alabama current expungement laws only allow people to apply for expungement if the charges are dismissed, your found not guilty or you have finished some type of diversion program. The new law will allow people with convictions for nonviolent misdemeanors, municipal ordinances and minor traffic offenses to apply to have their records expunged provided they meet certain conditions. The conditions include having paid all court costs and fines, completed probation and all other requirements in their case. Violent crimes, sex offenses and major traffic convictions would not be eligible for expungement. The big surprise to the law is this, people who were convicted of felonies but later pardoned could also apply to have the conviction expunged. This is a dramatic shift from the previous expungement laws in this state. We are also offering the only LOWEST FEE GUARANTEE in the State of Alabama. Call 24/7 to find out just how low our attorney’s fee can be for an expungement in the State of Alabama. We are preparing petitions now. Call now 256-534-3435 or 256-350-7200. We are here to help you get your life back in order.

Can you expunge a conviction?

Yes. Under the new Alabama expungement law, convictions can be expunged under certain circumstances.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.

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 Expungement 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 $500.00 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. Attorneys charge anywhere between $1,000.00 and $10,000.00 in Alabama. We charge $1,500.00.

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?

Misdemeanor Charges

You are eligible if you were charged or convicted 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

– Possession of a Controlled Substance
– Possession of Marijuana, 1st degree
– Distribution of a Controlled Substance
– Unlawful Manufacturing a Controlled Substance 1st or 2nd degree
– Theft of Property 1st or 2nd degree
– Unlawful Breaking and Entering a Vehicle
– Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle

Violent Felonies

Under a 2017 update to Alabama’s Expungement Law, arrests for violent felonies are eligible for Expungment ONLY IF you have been found “not guilty” of the charge. This would generally mean found “not guilty” after a jury or judge trial. The list below are crimes classified as a violent felonies under Alabama law:

1. Capital murder pursuant to Sections 13A-6-2 and 13A-5-40.
2. Murder pursuant to Section 13A-6-2.
3. Manslaughter pursuant to Section 13A-6-3.
4. Criminally negligent homicide pursuant to Section 13A-6-4.
5. Assault I pursuant to Section 13A-6-20.
6. Assault II pursuant to Section 13A-6-21.
7. Compelling street gang membership pursuant to Section 13A-6-26.
8. Kidnapping I pursuant to Section 13A-6-43.
9. Kidnapping II pursuant to Section 13A-6-44.
10. Rape I pursuant to Section 13A-6-61.
11. Rape II pursuant to Section 13A-6-62.
12. Sodomy I pursuant to Section 13A-6-63.
13. Sodomy II pursuant to Section 13A-6-64.Sentencing Standards Manual 2013 8
14. Sexual torture pursuant to Section 13A-6-65.l.
15. Sexual abuse I pursuant to Section 13A-6-66.
16. Enticing a child to enter a vehicle for immoral purposes pursuant to Section 13A-6-69.
17. Stalking pursuant to Section 13A-6-90.
18. Aggravated stalking pursuant to Section 13A-6-91.
19. Soliciting a child by computer pursuant to Section 13A-6-110.
20. Domestic violence I pursuant to Section 13A-6-130.
21. Domestic violence II pursuant to Section 13A-6-131.
22. Burglary I pursuant to Section 13A-7-5.
23. Burglary II pursuant to Section 13A-7-6.
24. Burglary III pursuant to Section 13A-7-7.
25. Arson I pursuant to Section 13A-7-41.
26. Criminal possession of explosives pursuant to Section 13A-7-44.
27. Extortion I pursuant to Section 13A-8-14.
28. Robbery I pursuant to Section 13A-8-41.
29. Robbery II pursuant to Section 13A-8-42.
30. Robbery III pursuant to Section 13A-8-43.
31. Pharmacy robbery pursuant to Section 13A-8-51.
32. Terrorist threats pursuant to Section 13A-10-15.
33. Escape I pursuant to Section 13A-10-31.
34. Promoting prison contraband I pursuant to Section 13A-10-36, involving a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
35. Intimidating a witness pursuant to Section 13A-10-123.
36. Intimidating a juror pursuant to Section 13A-10-127.
37. Treason pursuant to Section 13A-11-2.
38. Discharging a weapon into an occupied building, dwelling, automobile, etc., pursuant to Section 13A-11-61.
39. Promoting prostitution I pursuant to Section 13A-12-111.
40. Production of obscene matter involving a minor pursuant to Section 13A-12-197.
41. Trafficking pursuant to Section 13A-12-231.
42. Child abuse pursuant to Section 26-15-3.
43. Elder abuse pursuant to Section 38-9-7.
44. Terrorism pursuant to Section 13A-10-152.
45. Hindering prosecution for terrorism pursuant to Section 13A-10-154.
46. Any substantially similar offense for which an Alabama offender has been convicted under prior Alabama law or the law of any other state, the District of Columbia, the United States, or any of the territories of the United
States.

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.

or

Under the previous expungement laws of 2014 regarding felony charges, you could not expunge felony convictions. Under the new 2021 Alabama expungement law, a person who has been <strong>convicted </strong> of a felony may file a petition to expunge the record <strong>if all </strong>of the conditions are met:
<ul>
<li>The person has been granted a certificate of pardon with restoration of civil and political rights for the conviction from the Board of Pardons and Paroles.</li>
<li>All civil and political rights that were forfeited as a result of the conviction have been restored.</li>
<li>One hundred eighty days have passed from the date of the issuance of the certification of pardon.</li>
<li>The conviction is not for a violent offense as defined in 12-25-32.</li>
<li>The conviction is not a sex offense, as defined in Section 15-20A-5.</li>
<li>The conviction is not an offense involving moral turpitude, as provided in Section 17-3-30.1.</li>
<li>The conviction is not a serious traffic offense, as provided in Article 9 of Chapter 5A of Title 32.</li>
</ul>

Can you get a DUI expunged in Alabama?

Yes you can.

Is it worth getting record expunged in Alabama?

Yes. Getting your record expunged can help you get better employment. All of the jail records, court records and criminal databases will remove your record.

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?

Yes.

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 75-120 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.

Are there felony criminal charges that cannot be expunged in Alabama?

Yes. Individuals are not eligible for expungement if they were convicted of violent felonies that are included in the Alabama Code, such as:

  • Arson
  • Assault
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Domestic violence felonies
  • Kidnapping
  • Stalking
  • Sex Related Crimes
  • Murder or manslaughter

Will The Court Have a Hearing About My Expungement Petition?

Usually not. The court will schedule a hearing if the alleged victim or the District Attorney files a written objection to the Expungement Petition being granted within forty-five (45) days from the filing and service of the petition. Otherwise, if there is no objection filed, and if the judge has enough information from your Petition to make a ruling, generally no hearing will be set. The judge may possibly set your petition for a hearing even without an objection from the District Attorney’s Office or alleged victim.

What Factors Doe the Court Take Into Consideration?

Yes. The new 2021 Alabama Expungement Law states in part that “… there is no right to the expungement of any criminal record, and any request for expungement of a criminal record may be denied at the sole discretion of the court.” §15-27-5(c). There is a list of at least ten (10) specific factors the Alabama Expungement Law provides for the judge to consider when deciding whether to grant your Petition for Expungement when there is any objection from the District Attorney’s Office.

If I Still Owe Cost, Fees, Restitution or Fines, Can My Record Be Expunged?

No. All court ordered monies have been paid in full, including court costs, restitution, fees, fines or statuary fees, an order cannot be issued expunging your arrest record, according to the Alabama Expungement law.

Who is Eligible to Apply for a Pardon in Alabama?

A person can apply for a pardon in Alabama if they have either completed his or her sentence or have successfully served at least three years on parole for their sentence. The application is handled under the rules aond procedures of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles. These procedures give the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles the discretionary authority to grant or deny pardons.

Additionally, a person can ask for a pardon based on actual innocence. This means that the person has sufficient evidence that they were actually innocent of the crime for which they were convicted. In the case of an actual innocence application for a pardon, there must be a unanimous vote in the affirmative by the Board following receipt and filing of clear proof of innocence of the crime. This provision also requires a written approval of the judge who tried the case, or the approval of a circuit judge in the circuit where the person was convicted if the trial judge is no longer on the bench.

How do you Apply for a Pardon?

You must submit a Pardon Application and a Waiver of Liability and Authority for Release of Information. These are submitted to the Pardons Unit of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles.(Forms)

What Happens After I Submit the Forms?

After the application and waiver are submitted, the Bureau’s Pardon Unit conducts an investigation into the case, including such things as current information on the applicant’s home situation, job status, an updated criminal arrest record, written references, and other information as warranted. An applicant for a pardon must fully cooperate with the investigation. When the investigation is complete, the case will be docketed for consideration by the Board, and once the case is docketed, required notification will be sent to the victim, certain officials in the jurisdiction of the conviction, and the applicant.

What Happens if the Board Approves My Alabama Pardon?

If the Board grants a pardon, the Board will also decide whether to restore any or all civil and political rights lost as a result of the conviction. The Board may grant a full pardon, which restores all rights, or they may grant a pardon with restrictions. For example, the Board may restrict the right to possess a firearm and/or they may require that an applicant convicted of a sex offense continue to comply with all sex offender restrictions. They may also choose not to relieve an applicant of the consequences of the Habitual Offender Act.

What Happens if my Pardon Request is Denied?

If the Board denies the request for a pardon, a person can reapply, but they must wait for a period of 2 years before reapplying.

Free Consultation and Lowest Fee Guarantee

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. Hire the best expungement attorney near you.