For people who have been arrested and convicted of a crime in Alabama, the aftermath can be problematic, even after the charges were dismissed or they served their debt to society. A criminal record will appear on background checks; it is often necessary to disclose it when seeking a job or trying to get into a school and some might look negatively upon a person who has a criminal record regardless of the charge and how they have turned their lives around. This is when an expungement might be valuable.
Combating objections when filing for an expungement
Misdemeanors and felonies can be expunged if the criteria are met. Still, there might be an objection lodged by the prosecutor or victim of the crime. It remains possible to get the expungement, but knowing the law is crucial.
After the objection has been filed, the court will have a hearing after at least 14 days have passed. It will weigh the factors of the case based on the following: the crime that was committed and its severity, the circumstances that led to the offense, when it happened; how old the person was when they committed the offense and if it was an isolated incident or had happened before.
The court will also think about other considerations in the offense and what might have contributed to it; if there is a report available about the person’s parole, probation or recommendation; if there was a dismissal or it was not prosecuted through a plea agreement or a guilty plea to other offenses; if the person has shown they have been rehabilitated through positive behavior and treatment and other factors the court believes are important.
Qualified legal assistance can be key with getting an expungement
There is a stigma attached to a conviction and it can hinder a person as they try to move forward. Many times, a person has changed their life from the time they committed a crime and went through the justice system to when they are asking for the expungement.
It is understandable that prosecutors and victims will be skeptical and want the person’s record to remain intact, but those who want to get an expungement can show it is warranted. Just as with an arrest and criminal defense, it is wise to have professional help to try and get an expungement even if there is an objection.