How can the Alabama Expungement Law Benefit Me?
-October 22, 2014
Have you ever been arrested, but not convicted, for a crime that is not a violent felony in Alabama? If so, you may want to read further because the Alabama Expungement Law may be of benefit to your future. Alabama passed an Expungement Law that became effective in July, 2014. If you have ever been arrested in Alabama, but not convicted, you might qualify to have that arrest record expunged (cleared from your record) depending on certain factors and criteria being met.
The Alabama Expungement law gives you the opprotunity, if you qualify, to have your arrest record in Alabama cleared. If expunged, the record of your arrest should not appear on your criminal background check pulled by entities such as most employers, credit lenders, etc. An expungement of your arrest record has the potential to protect you from being skipped-over for employment opportunities and other opportunities for your life in the future.
If you are interested in clearing your arrest record in Alabama, first understand that the current Expungement Law in Alabama allows for the expungement (or clearing) of arrests where you were NOT convicted (you were found not guilty, the case was dismissed, or no-billed by a grand jury).
Next, the charge or crime you were arrested for cannot be a “violent felony” as defined under Alabama law. Arrests for non-violent felonies, misdemeanors, violations, traffic violations, and municipal ordinance violation in Alabama where you were not convicted may be eligible to be expunged or cleared from your record in Alabama. Violent felony charges under Alabama law that are NOT eligible for expungement include:
1. Capital murder pursuant to Sections 13A-6-2 and 13A-5-40.
2. Murder pursuant to Section 13A-6-2.
3. Manslaughter pursuant to Section 13A-6-3.
4. Criminally negligent homicide pursuant to Section 13A-6-4.
5. Assault I pursuant to Section 13A-6-20.
6. Assault II pursuant to Section 13A-6-21.
7. Compelling street gang membership pursuant to Section 13A-6-26.
8. Kidnapping I pursuant to Section 13A-6-43.
9. Kidnapping II pursuant to Section 13A-6-44.
10. Rape I pursuant to Section 13A-6-61.
11. Rape II pursuant to Section 13A-6-62.
12. Sodomy I pursuant to Section 13A-6-63.
13. Sodomy II pursuant to Section 13A-6-64.Sentencing Standards Manual 2013 8
14. Sexual torture pursuant to Section 13A-6-65.l.
15. Sexual abuse I pursuant to Section 13A-6-66.
16. Enticing a child to enter a vehicle for immoral purposes pursuant to Section 13A-6-69.
17. Stalking pursuant to Section 13A-6-90.
18. Aggravated stalking pursuant to Section 13A-6-91.
19. Soliciting a child by computer pursuant to Section 13A-6-110.
20. Domestic violence I pursuant to Section 13A-6-130.
21. Domestic violence II pursuant to Section 13A-6-131.
22. Burglary I pursuant to Section 13A-7-5.
23. Burglary II pursuant to Section 13A-7-6.
24. Burglary III pursuant to Section 13A-7-7.
25. Arson I pursuant to Section 13A-7-41.
26. Criminal possession of explosives pursuant to Section 13A-7-44.
27. Extortion I pursuant to Section 13A-8-14.
28. Robbery I pursuant to Section 13A-8-41.
29. Robbery II pursuant to Section 13A-8-42.
30. Robbery III pursuant to Section 13A-8-43.
31. Pharmacy robbery pursuant to Section 13A-8-51.
32. Terrorist threats pursuant to Section 13A-10-15.
33. Escape I pursuant to Section 13A-10-31.
34. Promoting prison contraband I pursuant to Section 13A-10-36, involving a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
35. Intimidating a witness pursuant to Section 13A-10-123.
36. Intimidating a juror pursuant to Section 13A-10-127.
37. Treason pursuant to Section 13A-11-2.
38. Discharging a weapon into an occupied building, dwelling, automobile, etc., pursuant to Section 13A-11-61.
39. Promoting prostitution I pursuant to Section 13A-12-111.
40. Production of obscene matter involving a minor pursuant to Section 13A-12-197.
41. Trafficking pursuant to Section 13A-12-231.
42. Child abuse pursuant to Section 26-15-3.
43. Elder abuse pursuant to Section 38-9-7.
44. Terrorism pursuant to Section 13A-10-152.
45. Hindering prosecution for terrorism pursuant to Section 13A-10-154.
46. Any substantially similar offense for which an Alabama offender has been convicted under prior Alabama law or the law of any other state, the District of Columbia, the United States, or any of the territories of the United States.
Next, if your arrest you are seeking to expunge or clear in Alabama is either a misdemeanor, a violation, traffic violation, or municipal ordinance violation that was dismissed WITHOUT prejudice then at least two (2) years must have passed, the charges have not been refiled, and you must not have been convicted of any other felony, misdemeanor, violation, or any traffic violation (excluding “minor traffic violations”), during the previous two (2) years.
If your arrest you are seeking to expunge or clear from your record was a non-violent felony charge in Alabama and was dismissed WITHOUT prejudice then at least five (5) years must have passed, the charge has not been refiled, and you must not have been convicted of any other felony, misdemeanor, violation, or any traffic violation (excluding “minor traffic violations”), during the previous five (5) years.
There are also other requirements that must be met under the statutes that provide for Alabama’s Expungement Law for you to be eligible to file a Petition for Expungement in Alabama. The law requires obtaining certain documentation and the proper preparation of specific documents to be filed with the proper court and service on specific entities when filing a Petition for Expungement in Alabama.
The expungement law in Alabama provides that expungement of an arrest is not a right in Alabama. An objection may be filed within a designated time period by the District Attorney of the county where the charge originated, in which case a court hearing will be set. Ultimately, the Judge reviewing your Petition for Expungement has discretion to grant or deny your petition based on guidelines provided for the Judge to consider in Alabama’s Expungement Law.
It is important to obtain the representation of an Expungement Lawyer in Alabama to review your case, and represent you with your Petition for Expungement. Alabama Expungement Attorney, Jordan M. Copeland has years of experience defending clients charged with crimes in Alabama. Attorney Jordan M. Copeland has successfully resolved many criminal charges for clients resulting in non-convictions. We know how important expunging an arrest on your record can be to your future when a criminal background check is pulled on you for a job application. Feel free to contact our law office for more information if you are seeking to expunge an arrest in Alabama. Contact Alabama Expungement Attorney, Jordan M. Copeland at Jordan@expungementalabamalawyer.com or at (256) 378-6087.