Alabama’s new expungement law allows certain components of an individual’s criminal record to be expunged or erased. Not everyone is eligible and not every crime is covered by the law. An Alabama criminal defense attorney can explain the requirements in detail. But, here are the answers to three common questions clients ask about expungement.
Do I need a lawyer to request an expungement?
Generally speaking, it is always best to have a criminal attorney represent you in all aspects of a criminal proceeding. There is so much at stake that it would wise to have someone with experience at your side. Even with something like a Petition for Expungement, there are technical requirements which, if not properly adhered to, your petition could easily be denied.
How much does it cost?
In addition to your attorneys’ fee, the expungement law requires an administrative fee of $300.00 when filing your Petition. There may also be expenses for obtaining copies of your record, both from the Court that handled your case as well as from the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center.
How long does the process take?
Every case is different, but it normally takes 30-45 days to obtain all of the necessary records and then draft and file the petition with the court. Typically, it takes 45 days from the filing of the petition for it to be granted by the Court. However, if there is an objection to the petition, then the process will take longer.
If you were charged with a non-violent felony, a misdemeanor criminal offense, a traffic violation, or a municipal ordinance violation that resulted in a dismissal; then you may qualify to have your arrest record expunged. If you have questions regarding an expungement or any other criminal defense matters, please contact Ketcham Law by calling us at (205) 296-4233.