Overcoming Personal and Legal Challenges

Overcoming Personal and Legal Challenges

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Is expungement an option for everyone?

In the summer of 2021, Alabama passed additional laws aimed at helping people with criminal records to request expungement. The law expanded those eligible to wipe their records and help with reemployment opportunities.

Prior laws allowed some with arrests that did not result in a conviction to apply for expungement. Under the new law, even those with certain convictions may become eligible for the same act. Discover what the state now allows and who may benefit from it.

What is expungement?

When a person has an arrest and criminal charge, it remains affixed to that person’s record for life. Even if the court drops the charges and never refiles them, the defendant may have to disclose them to employers. Expungement provides a path to erase specific charges and even some convictions, making it as if they never happened.

What crimes will the court consider wiping away?

Under the expanded law, all misdemeanor and felony charges dismissed by the court may qualify for expungement. The timelines for when a person becomes eligible to petition are set forth under the laws. The longest a person may have to wait for a charge to become expunged is five years from the dismissal as long as the record has remained clear of any subsequent charges or convictions.

The new law also allows the court to expunge some felony convictions. However, not every person with a conviction may apply for expungement. Some crimes excluded from this process include:

  • Homicide
  • Felony drug trafficking
  • Felony assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Reckless driving DUI
  • Vehicular manslaughter

When faced with an opportunity to have the slate cleared, it may prove beneficial to give it a try. Finding a person with experience and knowledge of the process may yield a more successful result.