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.
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.
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 sworn statement that the person meets the expungement requirements;
- a case action summary or certified copy of arrest and disposition;
- a certified copy of the arrest record from the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center;
- description of the charges to be considered for removal and description of the agencies involved in the arrest and any incarceration;
- the filing fee is $300 plus any court costs;
- all court fees, restitutions, fines and fees have been paid.
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.
The DA's office is expected to review the petition and make an effort to notify any victims in the case.
The DA's office and the victims have 45 days to file a petition opposing the expungement. If the objection is filed, the court is to set a hearing date at least 14 days after the filing.
The court can review the petition and rule without a hearing.
The court is to order the expungement of all records in the custody of the court and any records held by any other agency or official, including law enforcement records, except privileged investigation reports by the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles and files of the district attorney. The related agencies are then to certify to the court within six months that the expungement has been completed.
"The proceedings regarding the charge shall be deemed never to have occurred," the act says. The court and other agencies are supposed to reply to any inquiry that "no record exists on the matter," and the person shall not have to disclose the related facts on job or credit applications and other applications.
The law says a petitioner has the duty to disclose the "fact of the record" to any government, regulatory or licensing agency, any utility or its affiliates or any bank or financial institution.
The related agencies have to send the records to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center which will archive them in a protected file. The records cannot be used for a non-justice purpose and can only be made available when a criminal justice agency provides notice of an investigation of the individual.
Arrest records, booking or arrest photos, index references for public records searches and other documents or electronic files concerning the arrest or charge.