Eligibility for criminal record expungement in Alabama

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

A criminal record can lead to limited job opportunities, difficulties obtaining housing and reputational harm. In Alabama, a person’s criminal charges may be removed from their criminal record in some circumstances. This process is called expungement.

Eligibility for expungement

Generally, eligibility for expungement is based on several factors including the nature of the offense, the sentence the person received, the time that has passed since the offense and whether the person completed any other court requirements, such as a rehabilitation program.

Not all offenses are eligible for expungement, but there are some general guidelines that are helpful to understand. Non-violent misdemeanor offenses may be considered for expungement. These may include misdemeanor theft, property crimes and some drug or alcohol offenses. Some non-violent felony offenses may also be eligible, such as fraud.

If a person has been granted a previous expungement, they may not be eligible for another.

Process to request expungement

After determining eligibility, it is helpful to obtain a certified copy of the criminal record. Then, those records can be submitted to the court, along with a petition for expungement. The petitioner will usually have to pay a filing fee as well.

The court may schedule a hearing to review the petition. The prosecution will have an opportunity to object.

Then, the court will decide whether to grant the expungement. If it does, it will issue an order to expunge or seal the records which prevents the records from being publicly available, except for certain authorized purposes.

The expungement process can be complex, but there is guidance available.