Alabama Expungement Lawyer
Representing Alabama clients in need of expungement
Everyone makes mistakes, but a mistake you made in the past shouldn’t prevent you from getting the jobs, loans, or housing you deserve now or in the future. If you’ve been charged with a crime and meet the requirements, it may be possible to remove those charges from your criminal record (and from criminal background check databases) through a legal process called expungement. Darley Law, LLC works to help clients like you clear their records through expungement. To learn more about our services, contact Darley Law, LLC.
The state of Alabama allows certain crimes to be removed from your record through what is known an expungement. It is important to know that most serious or violent crimes cannot be expunged. You are able to petition to expunge certain non-felony charges such as misdemeanors or traffic violations if the charge was dismissed with prejudice, if you were found not guilty, if a grand jury decides the charge should be no billed or if the charge was dismissed without prejudice at least two years prior and has not been refiled or convicted of another crime within that time period.
If you were charged with a non-violent felony, it may be expunged under certain conditions. These include the charged being dismissed with prejudice, the person who was charged successfully completed a court-mandated program (drug court, mental health, etc.), the defendant was found not guilty, or if the charge was dismissed without prejudice more than five years ago and the defendant has not been guilty of any other crime throughout that time period.
The Redeemer Act
In 2014 the Mobile City Council initiative called “Ban the Box” would have done away with the box you check when applying for employment. It asks you point-blank if you have been convicted of a crime, specifically traffic and misdemeanor charges.
The Redeemer Act goes much further.
The Redeemer Act allows people with misdemeanors and certain nonviolent felonies to have their records sealed. Even if you have been pardoned for a serious offense, you can apply.
The new law opens up employment opportunities where previously employers could and did discriminate when facing a potential employee with a record. It will be up to the judge to determine whether the records can be expunged depending on the nature of the offense and how long ago it happened.
Petition the Court
You will have to petition the court and ask to expunge your conviction if:
- The charge was dismissed with prejudice at least 90 days ago, which means it cannot be filed again, and there have been no charges filed since.
- Three years have passed since the date of conviction if probation requirements are satisfied.
- The conviction is not a violent or sex offense involving moral turpitude or a serious traffic offense.
- The offense was no billed by a grand jury, meaning they decided not to indict.
- The statute of limitations passed after the indictment was quashed, and the prosecutor will file no new charges.
- At least 90 days have passed since the individual was found not guilty of the charge.
- At least one year has passed since the person completed a drug, mental health, or any other court-approved program.
- It is proven by the preponderance of the evidence that the committed misdemeanor criminal offense or traffic violation was committed while the person was being trafficked, and they would not have committed the crime otherwise.
- All fines have been paid, and parole requirements are completed.
Felonies Expunged Under the New Law
The opportunity to have your records expunged is not open to everyone. Anyone convicted of a sex offense or violent felons cannot apply.
Neither can those individuals involved in a serious traffic offense or anyone involved in moral turpitude, defined as unethical or deviant behaviors. Murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping, and robbery are all examples of moral turpitude.
If you have been convicted of a felony, a petition for expungement can be filed under the following conditions:
- When 180 days have passed since the certificate of a pardon is issued
- When all political and civil rights are restored
When the person has a certificate of pardon for the conviction from the Board of Pardons and Paroles
Life After Expungement
It is important to know that only charges can be expunged. Those who have actually been convicted of a crime are not eligible for expungement. Once you have received an expungement, no one outside of the criminal justice system will be notified of your charge. This is extremely beneficial in terms of applying for a job, taking out a loan or purchasing the housing you desire.
When you are charged with a crime in Alabama, you may lose your rights to carry a firearm. When your charge is expunged, you will have to obtain a Certificate of Pardon with Restoration of Civil and Political rights from the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles. The expungement itself does not automatically grant your right to possess, transport, ship or receive a firearm. The only way to restore your rights is through the previously mentioned certificate.
Call Darley Law, LLC
Darley Law, LLC has an in-depth understanding of the legal issues surrounding expungement. The process can make the difference in the quality of the life you lead, the jobs you acquire, the house you live in and the loans you take. Leave the past in the past. If you’re interested in clearing your record through expungement, Darley Law, LLC wants to help. Call today to schedule a consultation.