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Unfortunately, many individuals do not know that if they are merely charged with a crime in Alabama, this charge will appear on their criminal record. There is currently no means by which someone can clean a conviction off of their record, but in certain situations, non-convictions can be expunged. Reach out to a professional Hoover expungement lawyer who works with those who have not been convicted of a crime to clean those non-convictions off their criminal records. An experienced defense attorney can work towards a positive outcome for you.

Conviction vs. Non-Conviction

Someone may be convicted of a crime in Alabama in one of two ways. A defendant may enter a guilty plea at any stage of criminal proceedings. This is admitting to the crime, usually in an attempt to gain a more lenient sentence. Someone may also be convicted after a trial. However, know that not all convictions can be removed from criminal records in Alabama. A non-conviction can also take many forms. The most common is a not-guilty finding at trial. Other examples can include:

  • A prosecutor choosing to no longer pursue charges
  • A case dismissed by a judge as the result of legal motions
  • A charge was no-billed by a grand jury. This means that the grand jury found no grounds to pursue further legal proceedings
  • The defendant entered into a plea deal with conditions. If those conditions are met, the case is said to be dismissed. If the dismissal occurred more than two years ago for a non-felony, or five years for a felony, the charge will be eligible for expungement

Contact a skilled Hoover expungement lawyer to learn more about these alternatives types of non-convictions, as well as the ways they may affect one’s ability to receive an expungement.

The Expungement Procedure

Expungements can be pursued for almost any non-conviction except for violent felonies. A violent felony is defined in AL Code 12-25-32(15) to include murder, assault, kidnapping, and rape. If the applicant meets these criteria, they may petition the court where the charges were filed. The petition package must include:

  • A copy of the applicant’s criminal history
  • A record of the arrest
  • A copy of the record of disposition from the court
  • A record of the case action summary

This package must also be served upon the district attorney, law enforcement agency, and clerk of the court. The district attorney has 45 days to object to the request. If this occurs, a hearing will be scheduled for no less than 14 days from the filing of the objection. If no objection is filed, the court will decide the matter without a hearing. If an applicant files the petition on their own and learns that an objection was made, they have the right to be represented by legal counsel at the hearing. Individuals in these situations should contact a qualified Hoover expungement lawyer who represents these defendants both in the preparation of the materials and the potential objection hearings.

Speak with a Hoover Expungement Lawyer Today

If an expungement is successful, the benefits are numerous. A criminal background check performed by employers and landlords will no longer reveal a criminal charge. Additionally, someone’s right to own firearms may be restored. If the petitioner were to commit another crime in the future, that previous charge would still appear in police records and court documents, so the expungement is never total. Still, this can be an effective tool for moving forward in someone’s life.If you require assistance with submitting the petition for expunging your criminal record or the district attorney has objected to your request, reach out to a Hoover expungement lawyer today who can assist you in achieving your fresh start.