Alabama Law for Expunging Criminal Records Will Come into Effect from July

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An Alabama law meant for expunging criminal records of residents, who were charged but not convicted of any crime, will come into effect from July 7. Expunging criminal records of trial and arrest will not however relieve the formerly accused persons of their duty to disclose facts wherever it might be applicable including workplace requirements.

Under the law, eligible persons will have to file a petition for expunging records at the circuit court in the jurisdiction where the charges were originally filed. The petition will have to include a certified copy of arrest and disposition or a case action summary, and a certified copy of the arrest record from the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center.

The petitioner will also have to provide a sworn statement along with the petition for expunging records that he or she meets the eligibility requirements for expungement. The petition will also need to describe the charges that need to be removed and a list of the agencies involved in the arrest and any incarceration.

Besides the above requirements and a filing fee of $300, the person seeking expungement will also have to serve a copy of the petition to the district attorney's office, clerk of the court, and the concerned law enforcement agency. The DA's office will review the petition and will notify concerned victims in the case.

Victims in the matter will have 45 days to file a petition objecting the expunging of records.

If the petitioner's request is granted then the court will order the expungement of all records of the matter in the custody of the court and also held by any other public agency, barring privileged investigation reports archived by the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles and any files with the District Attorney's office. Related agencies will need to certify to the court within six months from the date of the expungement order that the expunging of records had been completed.

The law would allow persons who were charged in minor matters like traffic violations and misdemeanors, and later not convicted, to expunge arrest records, arrest photos, and other electronic files or documents concerning the charge or charges.

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