criminal record expungement alabama

Is It Possible to Expunge My Criminal Record in Alabama?

If your criminal record has hindered your growth, career options, and future, it’s normal to feel disheartened. The good news is that you may have options—expungement is available for some people who have been charged or convicted of a crime in Alabama. While the process isn’t necessarily easy, it is definitely worth it if it grants you a fresh start.

Working with the right attorney is key to fighting for an expungement. The Daphne criminal defense team at Coumanis & York can help you pursue an expungement—just call us at 251-336-3121 to learn more.

What is Expungement?

When you are granted an expungement, you can get criminal arrests and convictions erased from your record. As you may imagine, states don’t make this process easy—they want to ensure that those who have their records wiped clean are worthy of it and are not a danger to society. Because of this, you’ll need to meet many strict requirements and go through an in-depth process to have an expungement considered.

The Benefits of Expungement

There are numerous benefits that come with expungement. Many people who end up with charges or a conviction on their record do so during a difficult time or during their youth. That one encounter is often enough to put them back on the right path, but the conviction and charges remain. They may have limited job options, be judged by potential romantic partners, and even face the loss of some rights. Expungement gives you the chance to be judged for who you are now, not who you were when you were arrested or convicted.

Finding Out If Your Circumstances Qualify

The state of Alabama updated its expungement laws in 2014. The Redeemer Act updated the state’s expungement laws, allowing a larger portion of convicted individuals to seek expungement.

If you were charged with a misdemeanor but those charges were ultimately dismissed, you can likely expunge your records. You may also qualify for expungement if you were found not guilty or if you completed a program to avoid conviction, such as mental health court, a drug treatment program, or a deferred prosecution program. Note that there are time limits you must follow to qualify. For example, a charge dismissed with prejudice cannot be expunged until more than 90 days have passed.

What about felonies? If your felony charges were dismissed, they may be expunged under certain conditions. If charges were dismissed with prejudice, you were found not guilty, or the charge was no billed by a grand jury, you can apply for expungement after 90 days. After a year, you can apply for expungement if your felony was dismissed via completion of a diversion program.

Those who were convicted of crimes have slightly different qualifications to meet. If someone was convicted of a violent offense, a sex offense, a serious traffic offense, or a crime of moral turpitude, they cannot have their conviction expunged. This includes a wide range of crimes, including felony assault, burglary, rape, robbery, DUI, and homicide by vehicle.

If you were convicted of a felony and you have completed all probation and parole requirements, you may apply for expungement if at least three years have passed. People convicted of felonies have to be granted a certificate of pardon with the restoration of their civil and political rights, their civil and political rights must have been restored, and at least 180 days have passed since they received their certificate of pardon.

Know What to Expect

Obviously, the processes for dismissed charges or a misdemeanor conviction are significantly easier than the process for a felony conviction. That doesn’t mean that it’s not worth trying—getting any type of criminal history expunged can brighten your future prospects and help you breathe a little easier. You start by filing CR-65, Petition for Expungement of Records. Your attorney can guide you through this process and tell you what to expect at each step along the way.


Considering Expungement? Contact Coumanis & York

If you think expungement is the next step for you as you build your future, let’s talk. Call the Daphne team at Coumanis & York at 251-336-3121 or connect with us online to set up a consultation now.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *