What You Need to Know About Sealing a Criminal Record

Expungement is the legal process by which a criminal record is destroyed or sealed from state or federal records. An expungement order directs the court and the public to treat the criminal conviction as if it never occured. Here’s everything you need to know about expungement in Alabama.

Alabama’s Expungement Laws

Alabama’s expungement laws differ according to the record, meaning the qualifications for expunging a record differ whether or not the record is a felony or a misdemeanor. Generally, it is easier to expunge a misdemeanor record.

Related: How to Disclose a Criminal Record on a Job Application

Expunging Your Charges

Alabama Code Chapter 25 outlines Alabama’s expungement laws. Depending on the charge, the requirements for expunging differ.

Felony Expungement

A person who has been accused of committing a felony can have their record expunged under any of the following circumstances:

  • When the charge is dismissed with prejudice and the 90 day period has passed
  • When the charge has been no billed by a grand jury and more than 90 days have passed
  • When the person who has been found not guilty and more than 90 days have passed
  • If the indictment was unsuccessful and the statute of limitations for refiling has passed
  • If the guilty charge is dismissed after the successful completion of a drug court program, mental health program, or any other court sanctioned recovery program.

Misdemeanor Expungement

A person who has been charged with a misdemeanor offense, or a violation of any sort may file a petition to have their records expunged should any of the following circumstances occur:

  • When the charge is dismissed and more than 90 days have passed
  • When the charge has been no billed by a grand jury and more than 90 days have passed
  • When the person has been found not guilty and more than 90 days have passed
  • When the indictment fails and the statute of limitations has already passed for refiling
  • If the guilty charge is dismissed after the successful completion of a drug court program, mental health program, or any other court sanctioned recovery program.

DUI Expungements

Recent amendments to Alabama Code allow DUI records to be expunged. DUIs are considered a felony, meaning an individual can apply to have their DUI record expunged as long as the circumstance applies.

Related: Civil vs Criminal Law: The Difference

Expungement Forms

To expunge a record in Alabama, first an individual must file a petition to have their record expunged with court in the country the charge was first filed. The form to petition for expungement can be found here.

FAQs About Sealing a Criminal Record in Alabama

Who can see expunged records in Alabama?

Expunging a record removes a criminal record off from government records. For example, if an employer runs your record through a government background check database, then an expunged record should not be visible. Public records, such as new reports, remain visible to the public.

Can a domestic violence charge be expunged in Alabama?

If the domestic violence charge was not successful, the domestic violence charge can be expunged by filing a petition in criminal court.

Can I own a gun after a felony expungement in Alabama?

If you have been convicted of a crime, you will have lost the right to own a gun. If a person’s conviction is overturned or pardoned, they will be able to own a firearm after a felony expungement.

What crimes cannot be expunged in Alabama?

Certain convictions for violent and sexual offenses and “serious traffic offenses” are not eligible for expungement.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Alabama Expungement: Sealing Criminal Record, get your free consultation with one of our Criminal Defense Attorneys in Alabama today!