The bill sponsored by Sen. Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, is set to go into effect in 90 days after Bentley signs it.
Here's the way it's supposed to work, according to the language in the bill:. A person who has been charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense, a traffic violation, or a municipal ordinance violation - if the charge was dismissed with prejudice, no-billed by a grand jury, the person was found not guilty of the charge, or the charge was dismissed without prejudice more than two years ago and has not been refiled.
What about felony charges? The act allows for expunging non-violent felony charges, in the event of a no-bill by a grand jury, a dismissal of the charge with prejudice, a finding of not guilty, and one year after completion of a diversion program like drug treatment, mental health treatment or veterans court.
A person is also eligible, if the charge was dismissed without prejudice more than five years ago, has not been refiled, and the person has not been convicted of any other felony or misdemeanor crime, any violation, or any traffic violation, excluding minor traffic violations, during the previous five years. What felony charges are not eligible to be expunged? Violent felonies listed in the Alabama code are not eligible, including: capital murder, murder, manslaughter, assault, kidnapping, rape, sodomy, robbery, burglary, arson, stalking, sexual abuse and domestic violence 1 and 2.
A petition has to be filed with the circuit court in the location the charge was filed. A copy of the petition submitted to the circuit court also has to be provided to the district attorney's office, the law enforcement agency and the clerk of court.
Expungement Lawyers Can Help with Your Record
The DA's office is expected to review the petition and make an effort to notify any victims in the case. Legislation passed in makes this process more widely available to individuals throughout Alabama.
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If you are granted an expungement, this information will not be visible in any criminal databases, including those managed by the federal government at the FBI. Is Your Case Eligible? Not all cases are eligible for expungement in Alabama. In fact, if you were found guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony charge, you may not seek an expungement.
Expungement Alabama Lawyer
The easiest form of expungement occurs when you were brought to trial on a charge and found innocent. You can then apply with the court to have your record expunge.
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This is extremely important with regard to allegations of child abuse in Alabama. A person who was accused of child abused but not convicted can have their records expunged by applying to the court. If you are granted an expungement not only will your files be erased but any DNA evidence collected as a result can also be destroyed if you petition the court.
Alabama Legislature approves measure to expunge criminal records
Alabama expungements don't happen automatically. Just because you were found innocent of a charge doesn't mean the courts are going to wipe the slate. Even if the crime was committed several years prior, it will still show up on a background check unless you have is expunged by the courts. Being convicted of a crime decreases your change of expungement.