Tuscaloosa Alabama Expungement Lawyers

Governor Robert Bentley signed a bill into law that now allow certain people to clear criminal charges from their personal record.

  • Who is Eligible?
    • Misdemeanors
      • Anyone charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense, a violation, a traffic violation, or a municipal ordinance violation. A petition must be filed in Circuit Court in the county where charges were filed. This can be done in the following circumstances:
        • When charge is dismissed with prejudice, when charge was no-billed by Grand Jury, when a person is found not guilty of the charge; OR
        • If the charge was dismissed without prejudice more than two years ago, has not been re-filed, and the person has not been convicted of any other felony or misdemeanor crime, any violation, or any traffic violation, excluding minor traffic violations, during the previous two years.
    • Felonies
      • Anyone charged with a non-violent felony. A petition must be filed in Circuit Court in the county where charges were filed. This can be done in the following circumstances:
        • When a charge is dismissed with prejudice, when charge has been no-billed by a Grand Jury, when a person is found not guilty of the charge; OR;
        • The charge was dismissed after successful completion of a drug court program, mental health court program, diversion program, veteran’s court, or any court-approved deferred prosecution program after one year from successful completion of the program (expungement may be a court-ordered condition of one of these programs); OR
        • The charge was dismissed without prejudice more than 5 years ago, has not been re-filed, and the person has 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
        • 90 days have passed from date of dismissal WITH prejudice, no-bill, acquittal, or not prosecuted by the District Attorney and the charge has not been re-filed.
  • What do you need to file?
    • A sworn statement by person seeking expungement (that you have satisfied requirements in this act and whether or not you’ve applied for expungement before).
    • Certified record of arrest, disposition, or the case action summary file from the appropriate agency for the court record you seek to have expunged, along with a certified criminal record from the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center.
    • Specify what criminal charges you wish to have expunged; specify the arresting agency, etc.
    • Serve the District Attorney, the arresting law enforcement agency, and circuit clerk with copy of petition and the sworn affidavit.
      • The District Attorney will review and make reasonable efforts to notify a victim (if there was one).
      • The District Attorney and the victim have 45 days to file a WRITTEN objection to granting of the petition. After the 45 days with no objection, the District Attorney is deemed to have waived the objection.
      • The District Attorney must serve you or your attorney a copy of the written objection.
  • What if the District Attorney or Victim Objects in Writing?
    • The court shall set a date for a hearing NO SOONER than 14 days from the filing of the objection.
    • In the hearing, the court will consider the following factors:
      • Nature and seriousness of the offense, circumstances of the offense, date of the offense, age of the offender at the time of the offense, isolated or repeated incident, other contributing conditions, any available probation or parole record (report or recommendation), whether the offense was dismissed or not prosecuted as a part of a plea agreement, evidence of rehabilitation (anything from good behavior in prison to vocational schooling, recommendations from supervisors, and any sort of treatment received), or any other matter the court deems relevant.
    • The hearing will be conducted according to the Alabama Rules of Evidence; witnesses may be called if there is a dispute about a certain fact.
    • The judge must be “Reasonably Satisfied” that you have complied with the expungement act.
    • If there is no objection, Reasonable Satisfaction is still the standard.
  • If an expungement is ordered, what goes away? What can you tell people?
    • The court would order expungement of all records in custody of the court and any records in the custody of any other agency or official, including law enforcement records, except reports and case files held by the District Attorney and the Office of Parole Services. They must do so within 180 days of entry of expungement order.
    • After an order is entered, the court actions by the court regarding the prior charge will be deemed to have never happened. You DO NOT have to disclose the fact of the record or any matter relating to it on an application for employment, credit, apartment rental, or other type of application.
      • HOWEVER, you have the duty to disclose the record and any matter related matter to any government regulatory or licensing agency any utility and its agents and affiliates, and a bank or other financial institution shall have the right to inspect the expunged records after filing notice with the court.
  • What does the term “record” include?
    • Arrest records, booking or arrest photographs of the petitioner, index references such as the State Judicial Information System or any other governmental index references for public records search, or other data—whether in documentary or electronic form—relating to the arrest or charge.
  • What if the I have restitution or court costs outstanding?
    • No order of expungement shall be granted unless all terms and conditions, including restitution, are satisfied and paid in full, including interest, to any victim, or the Alabama Crime Victim’s Compensation Commission, as well as court costs, fines, or statutory fees ordered by the sentencing court to have been paid, absent a finding of indigence by the court.
  • What if the client lost their right to possess a firearm, but the record was expunged?
    • Expungement does NOT entitle an individual to ship, transport, possess, or receive a firearm. They still have to go through the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles.
  • What if someone exposes the record that was supposed to be expunged?
    • They’re guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

When you need to clear your record, securing the best defense is the smartest choice for your future. Turn to the Tuscaloosa expungement lawyers of Turner Law Group To schedule an initial consultation, call 205-535-1034, toll free at 888-440-0935 or  contact us online.