Expungement is the legal elimination of an individual's criminal records. The record will subsequently be erased. This can include striking out, obliterating, or destroying records. Each state has its own forms of expungement, while some do not allow expungement for any kind of criminal records.
Only certain kinds of records are eligible for expungement and vary from state to state. An expunged record will allow an individual to state that he or she was never arrested or convicted of a crime. Expungement will allow individuals to obtain work without the loom of a past arrest.
If an individual is pardoned from a misdemeanor or felony offense he or she may have his or her record expunged. Pardons are not possible for cases of impeachment, treason, or sentences including capital punishment. Driving under the influence offenses also have the option of expungement, but only if there was no result of death or injury.
In the state of Alabama expungement is only possible for those who have been incorrectly charged and sentenced in cases where no conviction was obtained. Again, these cases vary. This means that if an individual is convicted or charged with a crime, he or she may be eligible for expungement if he or she proves that the information towards the crime was incomplete or incorrect.
An individual who was under investigation for child abuse but did not obtain conviction may have his or her record expunged in Alabama. If a criminal conviction is repealed, then an individual may have his or her DNA records returned or eliminated. Individuals who complete pretrial diversionary programs or pre-prosecution may also be eligible for expungement.
Only certain records are eligible for expungement in Alabama. These include records in relation to child abuse investigations, DNA records, and incorrect or incomplete information towards criminal convictions. In child abuse cases the record must be expunged through the authority or agency that investigated the case.
When an individual desires an expungement in an incomplete or incorrect case, he or she must submit a request to the Alabama Criminal Information Center. He or she must also provide the correcting information to prove innocence. Other cases will be filed to the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles. Paper work must also be submitted, within thirty days of filing, to the district attorney, the Attorney General, and the judge who oversaw the case.
If a request is denied, an individual may appeal to the circuit court within thirty days of the denial. In the case of child abuse investigation, an individual will apply to the investigating authority or agency. Under law the authority or agency must expunge the information and all associated records.
Most juvenile records may also be sealed in the state of Alabama. This is only possible following two years of discharge and no outstanding subsequent criminal charges or participation in criminal acts. A juvenile driving under the influence offense may be sealed rather than expunged. When filing paperwork, all those associated with the case must be informed, including the prosecuting attorney, the heading law agency, and the authority who granted the discharge. See also:
Alabama Felony External link (opens in new window)
Alabama Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)
Alabama Bankruptcy External link (opens in new window)