Expungement of an Alabama Arrest, Charge, or Conviction

Experienced Expungement Lawyer in Huntsville, AL

Have a prior arrest or charge that is an embarrassment or, worse yet, is holding back your career?  There is good news, if the charge was resolved in your favor and was not a violent felony, then attorney Frank Ward can likely get it expunged from your criminal record.

Expungement of criminal charges in Alabama is not automatic.  You must take action.  Specifically, certain certified documents and records must be obtained, and a sworn petition seeking expungement must be filed in the criminal division of the relevant Circuit Court. Certain entities must be served with a copy of the petition, then there is a period of time in which an objection to the granting of an expungement may be filed.  The Circuit Court may also require a hearing before deciding whether to grant an expungement.

A good expungement attorney will assist you in gathering all the records that are required to be filed with the petition.  He or she will also craft the petition for you so that it meets the requirements of the law and make sure that it is written in a manner aimed at increasing the chances of success.  If a hearing is necessary, he or she will prepare for it with you, including preparing you to testify before the court, if needed.

Frank Ward has been handling expungement cases ever since Alabama passed an expungement law. He has handled hundreds of Alabama expungement cases for his clients.  He wants to help you too.  Let him put his experience to work for you and help expunge your record.  

Contact our Huntsville expungement lawyer today for a free consultation: (256) 578-7729.

Can You Get a Violent Felony Expunged?

In Alabama, the expungement of criminal records is governed by specific laws that set forth which offenses can be expunged and under what circumstances. Generally, expungement is more readily available for non-violent offenses.

Violent Felonies

Violent felonies are typically not eligible for expungement in Alabama. These include serious crimes such as:

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Kidnapping
  • Assault with intent to commit serious harm
  • Rape and other serious sexual offenses

However, there are exceptions and specific conditions under which certain felonies might be considered for expungement. For example, if the charges were dismissed, you were acquitted, or you successfully completed a pretrial diversion program, you may be eligible. It is essential to consult with an experienced expungement lawyer like those at Ward Law to assess your specific situation and determine your eligibility.

Can Misdemeanors Be Expunged?

Yes, misdemeanors can be expunged in Alabama under certain conditions. The state’s expungement law allows for the clearing of various misdemeanor offenses, which can significantly improve your ability to secure employment, housing, and educational opportunities.

Eligibility for Misdemeanor Expungement

To be eligible for misdemeanor expungement in Alabama, the following conditions generally apply:

  • The charge was dismissed with prejudice.
  • You were found not guilty of the charge.
  • The charge was no-billed by a grand jury.
  • You successfully completed a pretrial diversion or similar program.

Additionally, you may need to wait a certain period after the dismissal or completion of your program before you can file for expungement. Our attorneys at Ward Law can help you determine your eligibility and guide you through the process.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Record Expunged?

The cost of getting a record expunged in Alabama can vary based on several factors, including court fees, attorney fees, and the complexity of your case. Below is a general breakdown of the costs involved:

Court Fees

In Alabama, the filing fee for an expungement petition is typically around $300. This fee is paid to the court and covers the administrative costs of processing your expungement request.

Attorney Fees

Attorney fees for expungement services can vary based on the complexity of your case and the attorney’s experience. At Ward Law, we offer competitive rates and transparent pricing. During your initial consultation, we will provide a detailed estimate of the costs associated with your expungement case.

Additional Costs

There may be additional costs for obtaining certified copies of your criminal records, background checks, and other necessary documentation. These costs can vary but are usually nominal.

Contact our expungement lawyer in Huntsville, AL today for a free consultation: (256) 578-7729.

What is Expungement?

The purpose of expungement is to remove a criminal arrest, charge and prosecution from your record. When a case is expunged in Alabama, the arrest and charge are removed from your official Alabama criminal history. After an expungement, the proceedings regarding the charge are deemed never to have occurred. The court and other agencies, except for in very limited circumstances, are required to reply to any inquiry that no record exists of the matter. Further, the person whose record has been expunged does not have a duty to disclose the fact of the record or any matter relating thereto, except in limited circumstances. However, the person does still have the duty to disclose to any government regulatory or licensing agency, any utility and its agents and affiliates, banks and other financial institutions.

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Frequently Asked Alabama Expungement Questions

Have questions? We are here to help. Still have questions or can't find the answer you need? Give us a call at 256-578-7729 today!

  • Where is Alabama expungement law found?
    Alabama’s expungement statutes are found in Title 15, Chapter 27 of the Code of Alabama. Alabama’s expungement law was first passed by the Alabama Legislature and signed into law in 2014. Since the law was first passed it has been amended, expanding the scope of cases that can be expunged.
  • What types of criminal charges may be expunged?
    Alabama law permits the expungement of the vast majority of misdemeanor and felony charges, provided the charges were resolved in your favor. The law also allows for the expungement of convictions in certain cases. In some situations a certain period of time must have elapsed since the charge was resolved without the charge being refiled or a criminal conviction occurring before the person is eligible to file for expungement. An Alabama expungement attorney can help you determine if you are eligible to file for expungement in Alabama.
  • Can I get an offense I was convicted of expunged?
    It depends. When Alabama first passed an expungement law a few years ago, no convictions were eligible for expungement. Later the law was amended to allow certain criminal charges of human trafficking victims to be expunged. Then in 2021, Alabama passed an amendment to the expungement law that expanded expungement eligibility to include many misdemeanor convictions (but not DUI convictions). The 2021 law also made some felony convictions expungement eligible, but the prerequisites for felony conviction expungement are much more stringent than for misdemeanor convictions. If you have a conviction you would like to see about getting expunged, you should definitely speak with an expungement attorney.
  • What court decides my expungement case?

    An expungement petition is supposed to be filed in the criminal division of the circuit court in the county in which the charge was filed. This means that often the petition is to be filed in a different court from the court where the underlying criminal charge was filed. For example, if you were seeking to expunge a charge that was resolved in the Huntsville Municipal Court, the expungement petition should be filed in the Madison County Circuit Court, not the Huntsville Municipal Court. Likewise if the charge was resolved in the Madison County District Court, then the petition would be need to be filed in the Madison County Circuit Court, not the District Court.

  • Who can object to me getting an expungement?
    Alabama’s expungement law states that “the district attorney and the victim shall have a period of 45 days to file a written objection to the granting of the petition or the district attorney shall be deemed to have waived to the right to object.” Section 15-27-3(c) of the Code of Alabama. Just because an objection is filed, does not mean that expungement may not still be granted. If the prosecuting authority or victim files an objection, the court will set a date for a hearing before the court on the petition for expungement. If no objection is filed, then the court may grant the petition without a hearing or may still set a hearing.
  • Is expungement automatic in Alabama?
    No. Just being acquitted or having your case dismissed does not expunge the case from your record. To expunge a case you must file a petition initiating an expungement in the appropriate Circuit Court and the proper parties must be served. If your petition is defective, you do not attach the proper exhibits, or you do not serve the proper parties, your petition may be denied on procedural grounds. It is best to consult with an expungement attorney and have an attorney prepare your petition and guide you through the expungement process.
  • My criminal case was dismissed, or I was found not guilty, does that mean my arrest or charge has been expunged?
    No. Just because the case was resolved in your favor does not expunge it from your record. The court and police and other agencies still have records relating to your arrest and charge. Further, the fact of your arrest and charge is still listed on you Alabama criminal history. To have these records expungement, you must file a separate expungement proceeding in the Circuit Court of the county where your case was prosecuted. An expungement lawyer can help you with preparing and filing the petition.
  • How long does it take to get an expungement?

    As a general rule, 2 to 4 months, but it can vary. There are certain certified records that must be filed with a petition for expungement. It usually takes 2 to 4 weeks to obtain all of those records. When the petition is filed the law requires certain agencies must be served with a copy of the petition. Further, there is a 45-day period for objections following service of the petition. This means that the court will generally not take action on a petition for a minimum of 45 days after it is filed.

  • What are the benefits of expungement?

    The main reason people seek expungement in Alabama is because of the detrimental effect that a criminal record is having on their careers and employment opportunities. The primary benefits of an expungement are having the arrest and criminal charge removed from your Alabama criminal history and having the court records expunged.

  • Does an Alabama expungement affect my FBI record?
    Alabama’s expungement law states “records expunged under this chapter may not be transmitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation national criminal records repository … [and] … any records subject to be expunged under [Alabama’s expungement law] and transmitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation prior to the expungement of such record shall be requested for withdrawal within the national system of the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center.” Section 15-27-7(b), Code of Alabama

What Sets Us Apart?

The Right Firm Makes a Difference
  • Experienced
    Attorney Ward has represented clients throughout North Alabama for more than 15 years and tried cases in many courts. He has even co-authored a book for other attorneys on Alabama DUI defense.
  • Focused
    Mr. Ward endeavors to never lose focus on the needs of his clients, and to do his utmost to achieve their goals.  Let him focus on your needs and get you results.
  • Driven
    The practice of law is not just a job for him; it is his passion. He is driven to strive for the best possible outcome he can for each of his clients, and he wants to put that drive to work for you.

Contact Ward Law Today!

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