Overview Description

Records relating to a charge for a misdemeanor criminal offense, violation, traffic violation, or municipal ordinance can be expunged by the court two years after the charge is dismissed without prejudice, so long as the charge has not been refiled and the petitioner has not been convicted of any offense other than minor traffic violations during that time. Ala. Code § 15-27-1(a)(4).

Ineligible Category or Citation

There is no statutory language regarding ineligible offenses.

Procedure General

The petition must be filed in the criminal division of the circuit court in the county in which the charges were filed. For the specific procedure, see Ala. Code §§ 15-27-1 et seq.

The court shall have the sole discretion over the number of cases that can be expunged after the first case is expunged. Ala. Code § 15-27-5(c).

Fees

A $300 non-waivable administrative filing fee is required in addition to any court or docket fees. Ala. Code § 15-27-4.

The court can order a payment plan if petitioner is found to be indigent, but the administrative fee must be paid in full before the court will grant an expungement. Ala. Code § 15-27-4(b).

Effect

The court orders the expungement of records from agencies. Ala. Code § 15-27-6(a).

The proceedings regarding the charges are deemed never to have occurred. The court and other agencies will reply that no record exists in response to any inquiry. The petitioner need not disclose the fact of the record on an application for employment, credit, or other type of application. However, the petitioner must disclose the record to any government regulatory or licensing agency, any utility and its agents or affiliates, or any bank or other financial institution. These agencies have the right to inspect the expunged record after filing notice with the court. Ala. Code § 15-27-6(b).

Expunged records are not transmitted to the FBI, and the state criminal justice information center requests the withdrawal of records previously transmitted to the FBI that were later expunged. Ala. Code § 15-27-7.

Unauthorized, intentional, and malicious release of expunged records is a Class B misdemeanor. Ala. Code § 15-27-16.

Forms

Waiting Periods

The petition can be filed two years after the charges are dismissed without prejudice.

(non-prod server)