Expungement is the process of having a criminal charge and in some cases, a criminal conviction, sealed and erased as fully as the law allows. In most instances, a criminal charge will show up on a background check and convictions can have lifelong impacts on your rights and opportunities.
If a person has a criminal record they can be excluded from certain things down the road, even after they’ve paid their dues to the court and society. A person with a felony on their record, even if it happened a long time ago, can be discriminated against from certain jobs, housing, and other opportunities. However, thanks to recent changes in Alabama expungement laws more people are eligible for expungement and the process of having their records sealed is slightly easier.
Certain criminal charges in Alabama have qualified for expungement for a long time. Recently the list of qualified charges has expanded. Check out the rest of this article to find out if your previous convictions are eligible for expungement.
Can you Expunge a Crime?
Alabama’s old expungement laws were a lot more strict than they are today. For a long time, the only way a charge could be expunged was if it ended in a dismissal or acquittal. This meant that a lot of expungements dealt with graduates of diversion programs. Further, many felonies were thus not eligible for expungement unless you successfully defended yourself in court during trial or the State agreed you were wrongfully charged and dropped the charges.
The new laws are a bit different. Violent felonies that are dismissed can now be eligible for expungement. In terms of convicted crimes there are significant expansions. If a person has the following completed, then some felonies can be expunged.
1) Paid all their court costs
2) Completed Probation or Parole
3) Been granted a certificate of pardon
4) 180 days have passed since the pardon
5) Does not have prior convictions expunged
6) Sexual-offenses, offenses involving commercial driver’s license, and offenses of ‘crime of moral turpitude’ cannot be expunged
The 5th point is not straightforward. In simple terms, it means that if a person is charged with multiple felonies at the same time then when they apply for expungement all of those charges count as one.
The 6th point essentially means that certain crimes pertaining to those points are restricted from expungement.
Travis Juneau – Criminal Defense Lawyer Tuscaloosa
If you have any questions about the new expungement statute in Alabama contact us today. Your crime could be eligible for expungement.