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Expungement in Alabama

Posted by Andrew Segal | Oct 28, 2016 | 0 Comments

1. What is expungement?

Expungement is the process by which an arrest record can be sealed or “wiped clean” from one's record.

2. If my records are expunged, what does it mean?

It means the information pertaining to the case, is no longer available to the public.
Information maintained by the state of Alabama such as booking photos and fingerprints as well as any other information collected as a result of the arrest will no longer be publicly available.

When expungement is granted, it allows those who were previously accused to have a clean slate, and an opportunity to move forward without a blemish on their record.

3. What can be expunged?

Alabama allows for the expungement of arrest records for specific crimes.  Unfortunately, at the present time, Alabama does not allow expungement of any offense that resulted in a conviction.

In Alabama, a person may petition a court to expunge certain felony and misdemeanor arrest records.

Individuals with traffic violations and municipal ordinance violations also may petition for expungement.

Generally, the more serious or violent the offense, the less likely it is that the law will permit it to be expunged.  Thus, a person who was arrested for murder or rape or robbery cannot get that arrest record expunged under Alabama law.  However, simply because the charge has the word “violence” in it does not mean it is not expugnable.  For example, a person who was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence can petition for the expungement of their record.

4. Why can't a conviction for a crime be expunged in Alabama?

Alabama's expungement law is the result of a compromise between various parties and conflicting interests.  Those who wanted to have an expungement law had to compromise with those who did not.  The law is a result of that compromise.  While many think the law does not go far enough, others are opposed to any type of expungement.  At the present time, Alabama does not allow expungement of criminal convictions.

Sometimes people get confused as to whether or not they have a conviction.If you're not sure as to whether or not you have a conviction please don't hesitate to contact us.  We provide a free case evaluation with no obligation. Just give us a call at 256-533-4529

About the Author

Andrew Segal

Andrew Segal is a former judge and prosecutor who now represents the accused as a criminal defense attorney in Huntsville, Alabama, area courts. Andrew graduated cum laude from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 1982. and Washington College of Law at American University in 1988.


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