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Alabama Expungement Laws

No one likes getting into trouble with the law, especially if you're innocent. However, if you have ever been arrested or charged with a crime in Alabama then you're going to have a record of that incident. This will be a public record which means anyone can petition the court for a background check and find your arrest record. A criminal background check can occur as part of a job interview or in the application for renting a home. As with the laws in other states, Alabama offers limited expungement depending on the circumstances.

Expungement means that your record is removed from the databases or permanently sealed preventing anyone from the outside to obtain knowledge of the arrest. Technically it's as if the incident never happened. 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. 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 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. In the case of DNA evidence you have to specifically petition the state Director of Forensics and request that your DNA be destroyed.

Being convicted of a crime decreases your change of expungement. However, you can still apply and depending on the severity of the charge you might be granted the expungement. Typically this would be for misdemeanor convictions where you have met the obligations of the court to a satisfactory level.

There are many internet based services that allow you to review Alabama criminal records to determine if you are in the system. When it comes to obtaining an Alabama expungement it is advisable that you engage the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney to help navigate the judicial system. Clearing up your record is something you should do before it comes back to surprise you.

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