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Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent
Expungement, the legal elimination of your criminal records, can clear your name and make things like finding employment a lot easier. Upon expungement, the record will be erased. It will be as if it never happened. This process can include destroying, striking out, or obliterating records. Each state has its own form of expungement.
Only certain types of records are eligible for expungement in Alabama. The purpose of an expunged record is to allow you to state that you were never arrested or convicted of a crime. Expungement will allow you to obtain work without the history of a past arrest looming over you. Let Tony Hughes Law help you get your record expunged.
If you are pardoned from a misdemeanor or felony offense, you may have your record expunged. Pardons are not possible in cases such as treason, impeachment, or sentences including capital punishment. DUI offenses have the option of expungement, but only if the DUI did not result in death or injury.
In the state of Alabama, expungement is only a possibility if you have been incorrectly charged and sentenced in a case where no conviction was obtained. These cases can vary.
This means that if you are convicted or charged with a crime, you may be eligible for expungement if you can prove that the evidence provided was incomplete or incorrect. If you were under investigation for child abuse but were never convicted, you may have your record expunged in Alabama.
If your criminal conviction is repealed, you may have your DNA records returned or eliminated from the system. If you complete a pretrial diversionary program or pre-prosecution, you may also be eligible for expungement.
Only certain types of records are eligible for expungement in Alabama. Examples of records that can be expunged are records related to child abuse investigations, incorrect or incomplete information towards criminal convictions, and DNA records.
In child abuse cases, your record must be expunged through the authority or agency that investigated the case.
Q. Can a criminal conviction be expunged?
A. NO! Under the new Alabama expungement law, only cases where the charges were dismissed (with or without prejudice), no billed by the Grand Jury, or where the person was acquitted after a trial can be expunged. In cases where the charges were dismissed without prejudice, special restrictions apply.
Q. What is the restriction on cases dismissed without prejudice?
A. A case that is dismissed without prejudice may be refiled at a later date. Because of this, the Alabama Expungement Law requires that the case have been dismissed for at least two years prior to filing the expungement petition, that the case has not been refiled, and that the person has not been convicted of any other crime (excluding minor traffic violations) in the past two years.
Q. What kinds of cases can be expunged?
A. Misdemeanors, violations, traffic citations and municipal ordinance violations can be expunged. Felony cases can be expunged with certain restrictions.
Q. What are the special restrictions on felony case expungement?
A. Under the new Alabama Expungement Law, felony cases involving "violent felonies" may be not be expunged.
Q. What court will hear my expungement petition?
A. The circuit court in the county where the charges were originally filed has jurisdiction over an expungement.
Q. Is there a waiting period for felony cases which were dismissed without prejudice?
A. Yes. If your offense was 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 refiled and you cannot have been convicted of any other criminal offense during the five year period (excluding minor traffic offenses).
Q. Is there a waiting period for felony cases dismissed with prejudice?
A. Yes. If the case is a felony, and is dismissed with prejudice, you must wait ninety days (90) before you can apply for expungement under the Alabama Expungement Law.
Q. What happens when the expungement petition is granted and my case is expunged?
A. The court will order that all records concerning your arrest and the case be expunged or removed from the records of the court, any agency or official, law enforcement, the Board of Pardons and Paroles and the District Attorney. The records are forwarded to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (ACJIC) in Montgomery. Although the records have been expunged, the ACJIC will retain a copy of the records which may be accessed and used in a very limited set of circumstances.
Q. Should I hire a lawyer to assist me in filing my petition?
A. Absolutely, yes! The Alabama expungement law is full of technicalities, restrictions and exceptions. An experienced Alabama criminal lawyer can determine whether you are, in fact, eligible for expungement. In addition, an attorney can draft a proper petition for expungement which will maximize your chances of obtaining an expungement. The law does not guarantee an expungement and it may be necessary to attend a hearing on the petition. You will need the assistance of an attorney to help you obtain the expungement.
To speak with us regarding your expungement, please call Tony Hughes Law at 256-349-5694 or fill out our
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If you would like to pursue an expungement in an incomplete or incorrect case, you’ll need to submit a request to the Alabama Criminal Information Center. You must also provide the correct information to prove innocence.
Other cases will need to be filed through the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles. Paper work must be submitted within thirty days of filing. It will have to be sent to the district attorney, the Attorney General, and the judge who oversaw the original case.
If your request happens to be denied, you may appeal to the circuit court within thirty days of your denial. In the case of child abuse investigation, you will have to apply to the investigating authority or agency.
Per Alabama law, the authority or agency that originated the investigation must be the one to expunge the information and all associated records.
Most juvenile records may be sealed in the state of Alabama. These records cannot be sealed until two years following discharge, as long as you have no outstanding subsequent criminal charges, and have not or participated in any other criminal acts.
A juvenile DUI offense may be sealed rather than being expunged. When filing your paperwork, anyone associated with the case must be informed. This includes the heading law agency, the prosecuting attorney, and the authority who granted the discharge.