Criminal Record Expungement

information and forms to assist filing for expungement

In 2014 The Alabama State Legislature passed a law allowing, in certain situations, a criminal charge on a person’s record to be removed. The following is information and forms to assist attorneys or petitioners on filing for an expungement.

Criminal Record Expungement FAQ

Checklists for Expungement

Are you qualified to file for an expungement?

Qualified Charges for Expungement:

non-felony charge (a misdemeanor criminal offense, a violation, a traffic violation OR a municipal ordinance violation) may be expunged if one of the following criteria are met:

  • the charge was dismissed with prejudice
  • the charge was no billed by a grand jury
  • the defendant was found not guilty of the charge
  • the charge was dismissed without prejudice more than two years ago, has not been refiled, and the defendant has not been convicted of any other felony or misdemeanor crime, any violation, or any traffic violation, excluding minor traffic violations, during the previous two years

non-violent felony charge may be expunged if:

  • if the charge was dismissed with prejudice
  • the charge was no billed by a grand jury
  • the defendant was found not guilty of the charge
  • the charge was dismissed after successful completion of a drug court program, mental health court program, diversion program, veteran's court, or any court-approved deferred prosecution program AND more than one year has passed from the successful completion of the program
  • if the charge was dismissed without prejudice more than five years ago, was not refiled, and the petitioner has not been convicted of any other felony or misdemeanor crime, any violation, or any traffic violation, excluding minor traffic violations, during the previous five years
  • ninety days have passed from the date of dismissal with prejudice, no-bill, acquittal, or nolle prosequi and the charge has not been refiled

What files do I need to file for an expungement?

Files required to file for an expungement:

  • a certified criminal history record from ALEA (see below)

AND one of the following:

  • a certified record of arrest from the appropriate law enforcement agency for the court record
  • a certified record of disposition from the appropriate court for the court record
  • a certified record of the case action summary from the appropriate court for the court record

How do I get a certified Criminal History Record?

Requirements for a certified Criminal History Record from the ALEA Records and Identification Division:

  • completely fill out the request form (Section C of the Expungement Kit below)
  • an official set of the petitioner’s fingerprints that may be obtained from ALEA Headquarters in Montgomery or a local law enforcement agency
  • a copy of the petitioner’s photo ID
  • $25 ($5.00 for each additional copy)

Kit, Orders & Forms

Criminal Record Expungement FAQs

The removal of criminal charges from a person’s criminal history record accessible for public purposes, such as an employee background check. Expungement is not applicable to a criminal conviction or any violation of the statutes, rules or regulations of the Alabama Securities Commission. Any expunged records are still available to the court or law enforcement.

No. Only charges for non-felonies or non-violent felonies under certain circumstances may be expunged. See the checklist for the specific list of charged offenses that may be expunged. 

Not all charges show up on a person’s criminal history record for a variety of reasons. Older records were not always sent to ALEA for entry into the state’s criminal history database. Some charges are not automated in which case procedures have been put in place to catch these files while being converted to electronic format. Some records have not yet been sent to ALEA and, on occasion, records may be lost or destroyed at the local level. Even if the charge does not appear on a certified criminal history record, a record may still exist in a local law enforcement agency, a prosecutor’s file or a court record system. These records may still be accessible or eventually sent to ALEA for inclusion into the official record. If a petitioner knows of a record, even though it does not show up, that person should still file for the expungement to prevent these records from being sent to ALEA at a later date. If granted, the record will be officially removed from any agency for public dissemination.

Any criminal justice agency with records on an expunged charge, such as arrest records, booking or arrest photos, or references in the State Court’s Information System, must be forwarded to ALEA. However, a law enforcement agency or official, district attorney or a prosecuting authority, the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, or the Department of Human Resources may maintain an investigative file, report, case file, or log which may include any evidence, biological evidence, photographs, exhibits, or information in documentary or electronic form. Once an order of expungement is issued, though, this information cannot be disseminated for a non-criminal justice purpose. 

Expunged records may not be used for any non-criminal justice purpose and may only be made available to criminal justice agencies upon acknowledgement of an investigation or other criminal matter involving the person related to the expungement

The petitioner whose record was expunged does not have to disclose that fact on an application for employment, credit, or other type of application. However, the petitioner whose record was expunged shall have the duty to disclose the fact of the record and any matter relating thereto to any government regulatory or licensing agency, any utility and its agents and affiliates, or any bank or other financial institution. In these circumstances, the government regulatory or licensing agency, utility and its agents and affiliates, or the bank or other financial institution shall have the right to inspect the expunged records after filing notice with the court. A person applying for a position as a law enforcement or corrections officer must disclose and provide a copy of the expungement to the agency.

Once an order of expungement is granted, that offense will no longer be part of a publically accessible record used for employee background checks.

An order of expungement does not necessarily apply to an unofficial 3rd party background service. However, if a petitioner provides notice to the service that an expungement has been granted, the record may no longer be intentionally disseminated by that entity.

An expungement order shall not entitle an individual to ship, transport, possess, or receive a firearm. Any person whose record of conviction is expunged may have his or her right to ship, transport, possess, or receive a firearm restored by a Certificate of Pardon with Restoration of Civil and Political Rights from the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles.