New Alabama expungement law explained - WRBL

New Alabama expungement law explained

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For the first time in the state of Alabama, people charged with a number of crimes may be able to get those erased from their record. Attorney Brett Smith says the new law will help people across the state clean up their past and help protect their future. It doesn't apple to all criminal charges, but there are a number of people across Alabama who could benefit from the law.

"For individuals who were not convicted, they shouldn't have to carry that charge with them for the rest of their lives," said Brett Smith, Esq.

Alabama officials agree. The new expungement law will allow certain criminal charges to be wiped clean from a person's record.

"Now individuals have that opportunity to go past that, especially in the ideas of innocent until proven guilty," said Smith.

It only applies to a handful of charges including non-violent felonies and non-violent misdemeanors or traffic violations. The charges must have been dismissed, no billed by a grand jury, or given a non-guilty verdict. The new law could also make a big different for people like opening up additional employment opportunities.

"They may see a change. They may not look into the specifics of the charge, but they'll see a charge in their history, in their past, and automatically they may pass over that individual," said Smith.

If their record is expunged, they would not have to report that charge to an employer and it would not come up during a background check. There are a couple of steps you'll need to take if you need your record expunged. You'll have to file a petition with the circuit court where the offense took place. The District Attorney's office will have 45 days to object to the petition. If they don't object, they'll expunge your record then send it to local law enforcement and other agencies so they can erase the charges from your history.

There is a fee to file for an expungement. It will cost $300 along with any other court costs. To get the expunexpungement rwork you can visit

Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt focuses on education reporting for WRBL News 3. More>>

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