Expungement

Expungement in Alabama

Alabama’s expungement law allows a person to request that their criminal records be removed or deleted from court files and law enforcement agencies.  If the expungement is granted by the court, “the proceedings regarding the charge

Expungement

Erase your Mistake

shall be deemed never to have occurred.”  Any court or other agencies are supposed to reply to any inquiry that “no record exists on the matter.” You will also not have to disclose the related facts on job or credit applications and other applications.  However, you may be required to disclose the arrest/case to a government regulatory or licensing agency, utility, bank or other financial institution and when applying for a position in law enforcement.

The following charges are eligible for expungement: Misdemeanors, Municipal charges (City Court), and Traffic Violations, if:

  • The charge was dismissed
  • You completed a pre-trial diversion program
  • You were found not guilty

Felonies (non-violent only) if:

  • The charge was dismissed
  • You were found not guilty (acquitted) at trial
  • A grand jury declined to indict you
  • You completed a pre-trial diversion program

For any of the above cases, in order to be eligible for expungement all court costs, restitutions, and fines and other fees must have been paid in full.   If you qualify for an expungement, we will help you submit to the court:

  • A sworn statement that the person meets the expungement requirements;
  • A case action summary or certified copy of arrest and disposition;
  • A certified copy of the arrest record from the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (requiring fingerprints);
  • Description of the charges to be considered for removal and description of the agencies involved in the arrest and any incarceration;
  • The filing fee is $300 plus any court costs;

 Timing of Expungement

The timing of when you can petition for expungement changes depending on how your criminal charge was resolved.

  • Ninety (90) Days
    • If your charge (misdemeanor, felony or traffic violation) was dismissed “with prejudice
    • A grand jury declined to indict you
    • You were found not guilty (acquitted) at trial
  • Two (2) Years
    • Misdemeanors dismissed “without prejudice”
    • Municipal charges (City Court) dismissed “without prejudice”
    • Traffic Violations dismissed “without prejudice”

For misdemeanors, municipal charges and traffic violations dismissed “without prejudice,” the following must be true:

      1. The charges have not been refiled
      2. You have not been convicted of any other felony, misdemeanor, violation or major traffic violation during those two (2) years.
  • Five (5) Years
    • Felonies dismissed “without prejudice,”

For felonies dismissed “without prejudice,” the following must be true:

  1. The charges have not been refiled
  2. You have not been convicted of any other felony, misdemeanor, violation or major traffic violation during those five (5) years.

Filing the Expungement Petition

Your petition for expungement will be filed in the circuit court of the county in which the original charge was completed.  The district attorney of that county will be served with a copy of your expungement petition.  The district attorney has 45 days from the time of being served with your petition to object.  If the district attorney objects, the circuit court will set a hearing within fourteen (14) days so both sides can argue for and against the expungement. If the circuit court denies your petition, you may appeal to the appropriate Alabama court of appeals.

Here is the entire Expungement Law in full:  Alabama Law on Expungement

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