An Overview of Alabama Record Expungements

Many people have made criminal mistakes in their past, which has resulted in them having a criminal record that they aren’t proud of. These types of records can impact many areas of their life including employment, relationships, insurance, and much more. In many cases, it is possible to have an arrest expunged from your record so you don’t have to worry about it hindering your future. Alabama has a lot of rules and restrictions surrounding the expungement of records, however, so make sure you have a good understanding of what to expect.

Can Criminal Convictions be Expunged?

This is one of the most common questions that is asked about the expungement process, and the answer is, unfortunately, no. Alabama state law limits the types of crimes that can be expunged to those that are non-violent felonies, traffic violations, misdemeanors, ordinance violations, and other minor infractions.

Requirements for a Petition for Expungement

In order to have your record expunged, you must file a petition for expungement with the court where your charges were originally made. The petition must include specific information based on your situation. The requirements include the following:

  • Sworn Statement – You must have a written sworn statement that states that you have met all the requirements for an expungement according to Alabama code.
  • Previous Applications – You must list any other applications for expungement you have made concerning the same, or other, records.
  • Certified Records from Case – You must have certified copies of all the records from the case that you’re looking to have expunged.
  • Certified Criminal Record – You must have a certified copy of your criminal record.
  • Agencies Involved – The petition also must specify which agencies were involved with your arrest, incarceration, and conviction.

What to Expect

Once your petition has been filed, the courts will contact the district attorney, and any victims of your crimes, to see if there are any objections to having your petition granted. If there are no objections, and the judge assigned to your case feels they have sufficient information, they will make a ruling on whether or not to grant your request.

If there are objections from either the victims or the district attorney, a hearing will be scheduled. Those who have objections must file it with the courts within 45 days of you filing for your expungement. If there is a hearing, each side will state their case, and the judge will typically be able to make a ruling the same day.

Legal Representation

Having records expunged in Alabama is a fairly complex process, and one that you don’t want to try to handle on your own. Contact John M. Totten to discuss your options and get the help you need throughout this process. He can ensure everything is written and filed correctly to maximize the chances of having your expungement petition granted.

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Written by John M. Totten

John M. Totten

John's office is in Athens, Alabama, where he has helped thousands of people in North Alabama with everything from family law issues, to catastrophic injury and death cases, to criminal defense.